Why did you raise me (or try to raise me) to be a tolerant, understanding person, who doesn’t judge people based on their appearance but on their actions, when you don’t behave that way yourself? I could understand if you were trying, and acknowledging that you need to improve, but you don’t. Several times, you express your ignorance quite happily and willingly, and are either oblivious to it or just don’t care and do it anyway. When I hinted that I’m trans, you told me you wouldn’t love me as much if I were a man. I thought parents were supposed to love and support their children no matter what, crazed murderers and psychopaths excepted, I suppose. Whether I’m male or female or in between or neither doesn’t matter, I’m still me. I’m still that same person you’ve known for twenty years. I still think the same, laugh at the same things, find the same things depressing or annoying.
Like hypocrisy. You know that bothers me. You know it very well, as it’s one of the reasons I detest politics and organized religion. And yet you’re so very comfortable in your own hypocrisy, and have no qualms about showing it to me.
You tell me not to judge people by the way they’re dressed, but nearly every time we’re out somewhere, I have to hear your wonderful fashion advice and how everyone needs to stop dressing like this or that. Or if we see someone dressed outside the norm, as I myself am fond of doing, you make fun of them and say they’re doing it for attention. If you see someone with a bunch of tattoos or piercings, you imply that there’s something mentally wrong with that person and they’re in dire need of psychological help. You complain about my grandfather doing this, when you do it all the time yourself.
You complained about how long my dad spent talking about his work. But when you get home, I have to hear in great detail about the petty politics of your office, and what you’re doing, and what jobs you have to do. I don’t inflict details of my day on you, unless I find something particularly compelling, because I know my days aren’t interesting and no one really wants to hear about them. I hate to say it, but your days are as interesting to me as watching white wall paint dry.
You don’t want me to be a man, but you have no problems using me as one. I have to kill the bugs, I have to get things off high shelves, I have to do the heavy lifting. You say you love me unconditionally, but that’s hardly true; I have to be female and normal and a social butterfly, to be deserving of your unconditional love. Rebellion is okay to you so long as someone wears Lucky Brand instead of Ann Taylor (for example), but the minute someone wears Tripp NYC or Shrike or any other brand that actually expresses a rebellion against society’s norms, that person is a loser, a friendless moron, and psychologically disturbed. You want me to have an opinion, but when it happens to be contrary to yours and I express it, you tell me I don’t know enough about the world and thus can’t have one. You may have said that in jest, but it still stung.
Children look to their parents to see how to behave. If I were to behave like you, I’d be another bloody intolerant hypocrite, and Eternity knows there’s enough of those in the world. You’re pushing me away, and I don’t think you realize it. I don’t articulate it, and so I know some of the blame for that lies with me. But nevertheless I hope that you’ll be able to come to terms with me and accept me. I’m not very good at talking face to face and expressing myself to others, as you should know. I hope that someday we can be friends again, like when I was little. But every time I hear you criticize a complete stranger because their clothes are maybe too small, or call a transman “she” or “it” because you find them “creepy,” or put me down because of my personal beliefs and politics (such as they are), I find myself drawing away. I’m afraid that one day I’ll treat you the way I treat people that are only acquaintances and not friends: slightly distant, held at arms’ length, polite but not friendly chatter that has nothing to do with how I really feel about things. I worry that I’ve already reached that point.