Generational challenges for GLBT – Thoughts from a Str8t Spouse
SIX YEARS AFTER THE TRANSITION …..
As I listened to my grandchildren interacting with my ex-spouse (a transgendered M2F) in the basement of my house, my feelings are very mixed. I’m so glad that s/he has finally been able to re-connect with our daughter and be with them. It’s been a long road for all of them to reach the point of being able to interact. I’m proud of all of them for growing to be open- minded people that can accept differences. The happy voices of the kids as they learn about another adult who is truly interested in their welfare, and willing to listen to their stories is uplifting. It hasn’t been easy for my daughter and I to explain why he is now “GranMap” rather than Granddad. My 12 year old grand-daughter made up the monicker for this grandparent as she struggled to understand the concept of transgendered. The 9 year old has very little recollection of her since he was only two at the time of transitioning, and hasn’t seen this grandparent in the years between. So listening to their voices is a pleasant sound. I know that “GranMap” has wanted this interaction for quite a while, but my daughter wasn’t sure how to explain that someone who was a “he” is now a “she” and that they have another “Grandmother” and lost a “Grandfather”.
GranMap has also expressed a wish to be able to talk with them about the issue, and her feelings about being transgendered. Whether they’ve gotten to this discussion yet, only they know. Since this is only the second time they’ve gotten together, it may be too soon. Hopefully, I’ll hear more about their experiences today from the kids later, and be able to gauge their understanding and feelings about the situation.
My feelings about the situation are a little harder to describe and understand. I was asked to join them all to go for pizza to celebrate Valentines Day and their report cards, but declined because of two reasons. First, I felt that they needed time with her by themselves without all our ex-marital challenges entering the picture. Even though my ex and I have remained friends through phone calls, we have very seldom met together in person over the years since the divorce. The second reason I didn’t accept the invitation is that while I appreciate my ex as a person, and am glad I raised our kids with him, the sadness that our marriage had to end still exists and rears its ugly head occasionally. Our common interests and friends have changed, so we don’t “hang out” any more. And up until recently, co-parenting hasn’t been one of the issues. Since both of our kids are grown and on their own, we haven’t had to co-parent. Now that the grandkids are old enough to understand transgendered, a different chapter has opened up with the issue. And since I’m sure we are not the only ones experiencing these challenges, I’ve decided to go public with this blog.
So stayed tuned as the Transitions continue….