Yes, she's strange and different...but not THAT different.

11 October 2007

National Coming Out Day

I know that for a lot of people, National Coming Out Day is simply another day but for some people, it's a really big deal. Honor that - for the sake of those people who are taking that step.

Because it is National Coming Out Day, I wanted to relate the story of my coming out to my mother. My mother was terrific for a huge number of reasons, not the least of which was that she gave me my phenomenal sense of humor and my stunning good looks. However, about a dozen years ago, despite living less than half an hour's drive apart, she and I had been estranged for a number of years for reasons that were not of any importance here. Suffice it to say that they had nothing to do with my being transgendered. However, circumstances changed and one of my best friends told me shortly after her father died, "One of you needs to be the adult in this situation. Believe me, if your mother dies tomorrow, you will very much regret the time you missed." So, I opted to be the adult and contacted my mother, and we agreed to meet for lunch. In the process of re-establishing my relationship with her during that lunch, I told her that I was going to do it only if it could be an adult relationship and an honest relationship. She said that she wouldn't want it any other way. So, I took a deep breath and did one of the hardest things I've ever done: I told her that I was a transsexual, that I was on the path to becoming a woman. She looked up from her lunch and said, "I've known since you were ten or eleven. I had always hoped you'd find out for yourself and see fit to tell me. I'm really glad you did because it tells me you're OK with who you are. If you're happy, I'm happy. Are you going to have dessert?"

When she was close to death years later and we were at the hospice for our daily visit with her, she and I were just talking when she said, "I want you to get first crack at my closet. I know all the other girls will be going through my stuff, but you're the oldest so you should get to go first." I did and I still have - and sometimes wear - a pair of pink jeans that she bought. See - if I hadn't come out to her, I would have had to buy my own pink jeans.

  • On 10/11/2007 1:26 PM, Blogger exskindiver said…

    what a great mother.
    acceptance and love.
    are those interchangeable?
    I wonder.
    Looks like you had both.

     
  • On 10/11/2007 2:22 PM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    I knew today was special for some reason...now I know why.

     
  • On 10/11/2007 2:24 PM, Anonymous T. Trist said…

    Jami - HAPPY NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY!

    Here's a great contribution from two lesbian women to commemorate the National Coming Out Day:
    The Ultimate Coming Out - Wow!

    You can also go directly to FaithoftheAbomination.com. Their story will be told in a documentary film. I feel this will be groundbreaking for the GLBT community.

     
  • On 10/11/2007 2:37 PM, Blogger Spicy said…

    I wish we had a National Coming Out Day in the UK. I'd recommend Prince Edward to be its patron (snarf, snarf). *evil grin* x

     
  • On 10/11/2007 7:39 PM, Blogger soccer mom in denial said…

    You own a pair of pink jeans? Now you are on a pedestal.

    FROM YOUR DEARLY DEPARTED MOTHER?! Now I just adore you both.

    I only hope I can be as loving and matter of fact as my children become who they are. I hope I get out of the way and let it happen. Brava to your mama.

     
  • On 10/12/2007 9:20 AM, Blogger Nancy said…

    ... and then she says "Are you going to have dessert?"

    That and pink jeans? Truly a great lady =)

     
  • On 10/12/2007 12:30 PM, Blogger cathouse teri said…

    Beautiful story. When my niece came out last Thanksgiving, she wanted to tell me first. She said she had something to share with me she wanted to share only in person.

    Everyone in the family already knew she was gay. So, like your mum, we were all waiting for her to feel comfortable enough with it to tell us.

    I urged her to tell the rest of the family because I knew they would be nothing but supportive. She was still scared, of course.

    She sent me a text a few days later and said she had told her mother and her mother's husband. They of course reacted very calmly lovingly. In the background, though, was her sister laughing and saying, "Aha! I knew it!!!!"

     
  • On 10/12/2007 12:31 PM, Blogger cathouse teri said…

    (By the way, sister and her hubby hold hands when they are out, too. And so does baby sister and her boyfriend.)

     
  • On 10/12/2007 12:59 PM, Anonymous Leslie said…

    I think it's wonderful that you were able to reconnect with your mother and that it turned out so well.

    Happy National Coming Out Day! I hope that other people who take that brave step you did experience the same kind of acceptance.

     
  • On 10/14/2007 2:44 PM, Blogger Sher said…

    That's the best story I've read in a long time. Thanks for sharing that.

     
  • On 10/14/2007 5:12 PM, Blogger Jen of A2eatwrite said…

    Your mom is great. I wish I could have those kinds of talks and that kind of acceptance from my mom about things that are important to me. I'm sorry you lost her, and I'm glad you had that time together after you were the adult. ;-)

     
  • On 10/20/2007 6:00 AM, Blogger DeniseUMLaw said…

    Well, damn, girl. Did you have the f'ing dessert?

    BTW, my mom gave me first crack at her closet (and jewelry) too. I miss her.

     
  • On 10/22/2007 2:34 PM, Blogger Jami said…

    Yep - we split a big piece of key lime pie.

     

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