11 November 2010

How being out could affect family

I was talking to my one of my brothers the other day, and mentioned that I had decided that I wouldn't get directly involved in politics unless I was completely out, as I mentioned a few days ago.

His response quite surprised me. As close as I can remember, he said "but that would destroy the lives of everybody around you". Considering that I thought that he was the most accepting of my siblings, I'm still trying to process the implications of this statement.

The main reservation I have about being out as a crossdresser to the community in general is that I don't want my son to be harassed or bullied at school because of me. When I first wrote about crossdressing and politics, I was concerned about the impact on both my wife and son. My wife doesn't appear to care either way, and I get the impression that she doesn't think that it would make the slightest difference to her either way.

In many ways, I suspect that the implications for my son would be exposure to bigotry from other parents, more so than from other children. The children at his school are from a range of ethnicities, and I'm not aware of anybody making an issue of that. Similarly, there are parents who are single, divorced, in same-sex relationships, etc, and these don't seem to result in bullying of the children. One of my friends, Christina, transitioned when her son was quite young, and her son is half Maori, giving rise to the potential for racial abuse as well as abuse for having a transsexual parent. As far as I know, neither of these were ever issues for him through his school years.

I was left wondering "If people around my son knew about me, would it actually affect him?"

With that in mind, while the three of use were together in the car, I asked him about bullying in his school. The response from him, echoed by my wife who takes him to and from school most of the time and talks to other parents more often than I do, was that there really isn't an issue at his school. He added that he had heard rumours that there are problems with bullying at the OOSH (Out Of School Hours) group, which he doesn't go to.

I'm still pondering the implications, as the indications appear to be completely the opposite of my brother's belief.

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading this Alice, as my uncle cross dresses and decided that he wanted everyone in our family to know so he could be true to himself. So when my aunty died a few years ago she suggested (because she knew about it) that at her funeral he should come as 'Gina', so the day before her funeral he rang me to come over and answered the door as 'Gina'.
    I sort of knew but never said anything as I didn't know if he wanted people to know, however I wasn't in the least bit shocked and told him I suspected this and was happy with him either way. So he told me that his sister wanted him to come to her funeral as 'Gina' and asked me what I thought? I said if it makes him happy then he should go and it was also my aunties wish that this is how he should let the family know.
    Well when it came time for the funeral and he went dressed as 'Gina' most family members had suspected and weren't fussed either way, however my father was quite unforgiving and called him all sorts of names etc...
    My point to all of this is eventually he came to except it but never truly embraced it 100%, which is a little disappointing, however you will always get those people who don't understand it or think it is against god and nature. I do think with time and when your son is a little older the majority of people will except it and won't really be fazed one way or the other. You will always no matter what get people who can't except or choose not to because they don't fully understand it or have been given false information that if you cross dress your perverted or will eventually want to become a women. I do think society needs to be better educated on this, as because you like women's clothing doesn't mean your perverted or wanting to become a women. I quite happily go out with my uncle as 'Geoff' or 'Gina', but I'm a little older and I'm sure with time you will be able to do this with your son as well.
    I just wanted to say I love your blog Alice and it is definitely something families and friends should read so they don't get the wrong info.