A little late with this post but in many ways it's a relevant look at my past. Even though I have never taken any sort of real survey. It seems to me from my many years following other transgender women or cross dressing blogs, our Mom's receive most of the credit and or blame for our gender issues. From makeup to fashion many of us followed our Mom's lead.
Through it all what about Dad? In my case I still stand in awe of all he accomplished in his life. In addition to surviving the Depression and World War II, he took his high school education, built his own house and rose to being a Bank Vice President. It broke my heart when he developed dementia and slipped away.
Sadly I was never able to talk to him concerning any of the important issues in my life. Especially my questions about gender. While he exceeded my expectations at being a provider, he was sadly very deficient in being emotionally available.
It took me years to come to terms to my up bringing as a white privileged kid being raised in a semi-rural area in Ohio. I hit the ground running in 1968 during my first year of college when the Vietnam War was surging and I always thought my Dad was pro Nixon. I remember his disliking of when my hair started to creep over my ears and collar. His crew cuts and burr haircuts became a thing of the past to me. Even still, my Dad managed to not say much to me about his feelings.
During that time, my Mom had no problems filling the void, she was very vocal about "not wasting" the money they spent on my education if I was killed in Vietnam. True story.
Sadly, my parent's relationship grew toxic as they reached fifty years of marriage. From the outside looking in I think my Mom grew restless about my Dad's increasingly sedentary lifestyle. There was only so much time she could sit around watching television. Even in their dream condo.
The older I become, the more I am curious to what I inherited from both of my parents. My Mom is the easier one to explain. I inherited her fire and ability to change which she had to do when she graduated from a fairly prestigious state university in Ohio and went against her family's blessings and married an high school grad with no real occupational direction. She wore her emotions on her sleeve so she was easy to figure out.
Dad was the exact opposite. It wasn't until much later in life did he let any of his feelings be known concerning his standing with Mom's family. Also sadly, I still have a very difficult time showing any emotion. In fact, I didn't begin to cry at all in my life until I began to feel the effects of hormone replacement therapy.
Many of you know I made final peace with my Mom when I legally changed my name and chose her first name as my middle name and her father's name as my first. I did not forget my Dad by keeping my last name the same.
It took me years after both of their passing for me to come to terms with how I was raised. Now I realize they did the best they could with what they had to work with. Times changed on them and they had a difficult time changing with them. A challenge I try to keep up with daily.
In the meantime, thanks Dad and Happy Father's Day. I love you!