Friday, February 24, 2012

Do *you* have children?

RK and I were recently at our local indoor trampoline place with the kids for a playdate with a couple of #2's friends. One of the other moms stayed and we were sitting around and chatting while the littles played. I had mentioned having two csections earlier in the conversation so the other mom assumed that the boys were mine, and casually asked RK if she had any children of her own.

It was a purely innocent question. The other mom does not know that RK is trans, so would have no idea that the kids are biologically BOTH of ours. RK fumbled over her words for a few seconds until I interjected that they were *OUR* kids, and left it at that. The other mom was very embarrassed, apologized several times, and then said that she assumed that I had been with a man before and forgot that there were new technologies for women to have children together.

This could have been a great opportunity for transgender education, but neither RK nor I were in the mood for being outed for a second time that day and potentially making the conversation more awkward than it already was. Part of me was very happy that RK had "passed" so well that this had become an issue. The other part of me was incredibly sad. Sad that our family is no longer looked at as a family unit and that people assume that one of us isn't a *real* parent to our children. Sad that I had to decide in a split second how to explain our family. Sad that someday our kids might be asked which of us is their *real mom.*

This isn't the first time that people have assumed that we aren't a family. We often get asked if we would like separate checks when we go out to dinner. The first few times this caught me off guard because that never happened when we went out as an opposite-gender couple. I really don't understand how us being a same-sex couple makes people look past all of the signs that we are together and assume that we are not. We still wear matching wedding rings, have kids that look like both of us, hold hands, use affectionate terms for each other, and otherwise behave like a married couple.

I hope that as we progress in this journey that I become less sensitive to society and that society becomes more accepting of same-sex couples and families. Love makes a family, not the other way around.

3 comments:

  1. I wrote this great comment but then lost it during attempts to log in. MF! Anyway, I think that you will become desensitized over time. It's all very new still and you have already come a long way in this journey. I used to be hypervigilant for interracial couples, but as time went by, I no longer cared about the race issue. It just became about me and him and our family. Race just wasn't part of the equation anymore. You will get there. But certainly, there are bound to be some awkward moments for you guys and for others. I can remember being asked, when out with Christian by myself, if I was babysitting. That was about 14 years ago. Anytime you are different than the societal 'norm' some awkward moments are just bound to happen. I find humor is a great way to deal with those moments :-)

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  2. Tiffany,

    I agree that I am still hypervigilant about the situation. I am still needing to police pronouns of people who knew RK before transition. In addition to that it is still occasionally difficult for me to be seen as a lesbian, when internally I don't identify that way. Each day things get easier, but every once in a while something sneaks up on us that we weren't prepared for.

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  3. I think it's lovely how you work together as a team as your post demonstrates. Very admirable. Many people including me believe that souls do not have gender, and as such if someone falls in love with someone whom they believe to be their "soulmate" then the genders involved ought not to be relevant (not part of the soul, but almost something "tacked on" after the fact).

    The truth is society and judgmental people (even our own judgments of ourselves) interfere with that otherwise simple way of thinking about it. Whatever happens, be true to yourself, and congratulations on how well you two have done so far as a couple and as a family!

    Warmly,
    Stacey

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