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A Hand on the Closet Door

I fully intend to come out to my mother. I’ve even decided on the day- decided weeks ago. However, in her house, with her easy conversation and penchant for terrible films, I feel like it’s never going to happen.

It’s just so long overdue. Eight years – all my adult life – I have known that I am not female, and she still has no idea. Even the GP who gave me my GIC referral asked “how can she not know?!”… and it’s this that frightens me.

Because how can she not? She knows I wear men’s underwear. She knows I use unisex perfume, unisex deodorant. I wear men’s suits. Yes, I occasionally wear dresses, but my presentation is surely male-of-centre enough to warrant more than a sneaking suspicion?

Her language, too, is too gendered. She introduces me as her “daughter”, which in her non-native tongue sounds forced and peculiar. Whether it would be any less disturbing with an English accent, I can’t be sure. But she seems to say it far more than is necessary, those two thick syllables hanging in the air for far longer than they ought.

It feels like she’s trying to make a point.

Then again, I know I’m just frightened. When I was 16, I felt I would never be able to tell her who I was. She was a bigot who said terrible things about people like me. Since her divorce, however, I realise that she was unfair only because she was treated unfairly. Her heart truly is open.

I asked her (purely theoretically) what she thought about parents who disregard their transgender children on the basis of faith. She replied that if they did not love their child for who the child knew themself to be, they were not Christian.

Or something to that effect; it was a while ago now. The point still stands- she has no problem with me in theory.

Whether or not I am willing to test that theory is another matter. By the time I publish this job, I will know. One way or the other.

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About Big Rook

Chess coaching and events in the north-west of England

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