I know that I often sound confident about my gender transition and about my life. And, for the most part, I am. But every once in a while I am struck by the cost of it.
Somewhere over the past couple of days I've had an opportunity to either read something, or hear something on the radio, or see something on television (I don't remember the trigger, give me a break!) that made me think about how my children might view me.
Like any parent (I imagine), I want my children to love me -- and I've no doubt that they do (including my wayward eldest). But, I also want them to admire me and respect my life's choices and I'm not as sure of myself on that front. When I was growing up, the gender wars manifested themselves in us youngsters as bragging that our daddies were "better" than the next person's daddy.
I wonder sometimes what my children say to friends and acquaintances when asked about their parents. Do they refer to me in vague terms, do they try to avoid the conversation altogether, do they use male pronouns? Fitting in is important to most of us and I imagine it's important to them.
It is tough to live in a two gendered world when you don't fit the model. I can only imagine how tough it is to be the child of such a person. How does one brag? "My dad looks better in a mini-skirt than yours does?"
I am the best dad that I can be. I worry that my eldest is right and that my best isn't good enough, that my gender transgressions have moved me too far from the acceptable norm to be a good dad.
These are my private worries that torment me sometimes. Now, they're not so private.