08 September, 2009


i visited my folks over the long weekend. they had both been asking me for a while to come home to see them since i hadn't really spent time with them since march. i was hesitant at first since my relationship with both of them has dwindled, but thought that a visit might be exactly what was needed. overall the visit was fine and it was good to see them. my grandma was visiting as well and spending time with her is always a plus. grandma got my name right 100% of the time, which is better than my parents and pronouns about 50% of the time, which is just as good as my parents - major props to grams.

i was outside one day while home, getting something from my trunk when two neighbors came walking down the street. i recognized them straight away - they have children around the same ages as my siblings and myself and we all attended school together. i wasn't sure if they recognized me, but the woman said hi to me and when i turned around she said: "oh i thought you were nate [my brother]". my heart was pounding out of my chest! my head was full of questions - what if they recognize me? what if they call me by my old name? do i respond to my old name? do i come out to them? and on and on...i had no idea what to say, so i smiled and simply said "no" and they continued on their walk. i have no idea who they think i am and am curious to know what they were thinking. i was thinking about it later and thought that an amusing response would have been: "i'm nate's long lost twin brother!" i wonder what type of response that would have sparked...?!

does anyone have any similar stories of seeing people you haven't seen since transitioning?



Eli VandenBerg said...

I moved away from home but my parents still live in the same place where I grew up. Every time I visit and we go out to dinner they invariably see someone they know--whether it be from church or work. In some cases they just introduce me as their son, in other cases they re-introduce me (but tell their friend in private the background of the story). They have realized, I think, that just like my transition there is no in between or subtle way to do things. They either deny me all together or own this part of our shared history.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad your grandma is being so good about it!

Late last spring, I went to my brother's high school graduation... I'd graduated two years previously. I wasn't on T, but the difference was noticeable... I saw one of my English teachers and my Latin teacher do a double take. Can't wait until I go back for my 10 year reunion.

Luke said...

Eli - my parents are the same way - they either deny me altogether or own it, but more often than not they seem to deny the fact that i'm their child. it baffles me how parents can do this to their own children.

Eliot - i also look forward to the day when i can go to a reunion and have like a huge mountain-man beard and see people doing double-takes.