Reconciling motherhood and being a guy II

12 05 2008

As indicated in a previous post, I have had no trouble coming to terms with being both a mom and a guy. Although some mental gymnastics are required, it has been relatively easy for me to acknowledge motherhood in myself in both the biological (ie: having given birth and having nursed) and the social (ie: ongoing nurturance, which by no means is limited to MOTHERhood of course) sense. My son does not seem to think that Mommy being a boy is a problem either as he inhabits a world where ANYthing is possible.

However, it seems that people around us need a bit of time to digest this information. And some of these people are within the trans community. Reactions to my ongoing status as mother have been varied but interesting:

I’ve had people comment that I would no longer be a mother but a parent, to which I’ve strongly objected. NO ONE can take away my motherhood. NO ONE.

Others have asked if my “maternal” obligations were going to shift to “paternal” obligations. No. I did not father my child.

Others have felt sorry for me because my child will continue to call me Mommy or Mom. Don’t you dare feel sorry for me. I feel no shame in being my son’s mother. It’s an honour and a privilege.

Finally, the guy who was giving out Mother’s Day flowers at the restaurant where my son took me yesterday didn’t even stop at our table. And to this, my reactions were mixed:

On one hand: “Cool! I’m being read as a guy!”

On the other hand: “But I’m still a mother, damn it!”

In the end: “I have a big problem with killing flowers just for a stupid commercial holiday anyway and, although this one person omitted to recognise me as a mother, what counts is that MY SON knows who I am, knows who he is to me and knows that my MOTHERLY love for him will NEVER change, no matter who I am, physically and socially. Never. So fuck your flowers. We don’t need them, just like we don’t need your pity or your approval.”

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12 responses

12 05 2008
Ryan

*cheers*

Go t-boy mums!

I think that its awesome that you’ve come to grips with it. Hopefully people around you will catch up soon.

13 05 2008
Tarald

Great post!
Although I identify more with being a man than a mom, and in some situations tend to downscale the motherhood-thing, I agree with you. It offends me when people (like the staff at the Norwegian G.I.D. Clinic) assume that my daughter will loose her mom through my transition, that I’ll try to compete with her father to be one, or that I’m ashamed to have given birth to the most wonderful girl in the world. That’s bullshit! Assumptions like those make me explode into toxic peaces that want to penetrate those people’s brains (as if they had any)!

I would prefer to be a dad, but I am not, neither biologicaly or socialy. I’m a parent and I’m a man.

I guess the main reason for me not taking the fight like you do, is that I’ve always had trouble seing myself as a mom. For me, it has too strong associations to womanhood and so called female traits.

13 05 2008
Jacky V.

Ryan: Some of them seem to get it but for many people, a guy-mom is just too much to wrap their brains around.

Tarald: I can understand your point as well. I know that my experience in my own and I certainly don’t want to assume anything about anyone else’s experiences as trans parents. It’s too bad that you get that shit from the people at the G.I.D. clinic, of all places! I guess I got really lucky. My psychologist gets it and has not made any stupid assumptions. He has made no stupid comments about me being (or not) a mom. As for associating motherhood to womanhood . . .since I essentially see myself as a mix of both male and female, that aspect doesn’t bother me too much. Yes, I identify as male but a male with a strong female component.

14 05 2008
queerunity

It is complicated but I think these struggles ultimately make us stronger as people. Thanks for the blogroll add, I added you as well.

http://www.queersunited.blogspot.com

14 05 2008
BT

I think it’s wonderful that you have managed to balance both parts of yourself, which on the surface may seem so polarized. I’m also so glad your son is handling your transition so well; he sounds like a wonderful child!

Now the menfolk are trying to come up with a suitable name for male mothers. “Manma.” “Momman.” …my god, those sound awful…

–Miranda

14 05 2008
Jacky V.

Manma! Sounds awful indeed but it’s hilarious!!

14 05 2008
Jacky V.

Queerunity . . .yeah, every battle makes us stronger. But sometimes . . . after a life of it . . .it would be nice to rest, wouldn’t it? Cheers and thanks for the add!

18 05 2008
genderoutlaw

A couple of links I just came across that you might enjoy:

FTM Family Adventures
Transparent: The Movie

18 05 2008
Jacky V.

Thanks for the links, G.O.

7 03 2009
Reconciling motherhood and being a guy - the epic goes on « Tboy Jacky

[…] motherhood and being a guy – the epic goes on 7 03 2009 Here and here I wrote about the mental gymnastics involved in reconciling motherhood and being a guy. Now that […]

10 05 2009
Mother’s Day for Trans Moms « Tboy Jacky

[…] including my own mom, are unsure about my current status as a mom. But as I’ve written here, here and here I’ll always be my son’s mom. […]

10 05 2009
Mother’s Day for Trans Moms : Genderology

[…] including my own mom, are unsure about my current status as a mom. But as I’ve written here, here and here I’ll always be my son’s mom. […]

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