Saturday, November 26, 2022

The Conversation

My daughter has been married many years to a man I always considered an acquired taste. She met him all the way back in her college days at the University of Toledo. (Ohio) Over the years we have never talked much about anything. For some reason, all of that changed on Thanksgiving. All of sudden he came out to the living room to join me as I rested my back on a soft surface. The conversation began the way it normally does with him being the know it all on how to try to tune in one of the pro football games on his Mom's television. I tried to tell him how to do it but was quickly ignored so I thought here we go again. About the time I was thinking we would have the usual silence between us, he surprised me by asking about my brother.

Photo Courtesy
Jessie Hart

I said I haven't head anything from him since he turned me down on coming as my authentic self to his house for the Thanksgiving family dinner. In essence he chose his redneck religious in laws over me and that was it for our relationship. To keep the conversation going, I took the chance to tell him how much I appreciated his family accepting me Their support certainly softened the blow of losing any support I expected from my brother. 

Looking back at all the years we never had any sort of a conversation I felt somewhat ashamed it took so long to happen. On top of all of the vocal feedback he mentioned he raised his family as well as ran his scout troops to include diversity in everything they did. Which is all good since one of his three offspring turned out to be transgender. Before the conversation with him, I had basically given all the credit for their incredible family diversity to my daughter. 

Perhaps my entire problem on starting potentially difficult conversations goes back to the fact essentially I am a shy person. When I came out as transgender made it that much more difficult. Plus, the fact my son in law knew me many years as my male macho self made the whole conversation very difficult too. 

As I have written, the Thanksgiving experience was wonderful except for the dining room chairs which give my back fits. My transgender grandchild couldn't make it so I hated to miss them but they couldn't get off work as a novice fire ranger. 

At least now I can speak to my son in law in the future after we established some sort of bond following all of these years. The conversation was better than any of the wonderful desserts we were able to go home with. It's my fault I didn't press the issue sooner. I have with his parents but never with him. How could I miss he had to be a wonderful LGBTQ ally also? I don't know but I am certainly glad we had the conversation. 

1 comment:

  1. It is very difficult sometimes to have open conversations especially with people who knew us in different wrapping. Here we can be our own worst enemies and assume we know what they are thinking so we clam up. It's an ongoing process of being kind to ourselves as well as others

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