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Thread: I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

  1. #1
    Member Dorit's Avatar
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    I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

    I have lately been posting about all the good and wonderful things that have been happening. I have to be honest and share something awful that just happened.

    My near by daughter, her husband, and three children have been what seemed to me totally accepting of Dorit (My real female name) over the last two years or more. Way before I decided to transition and live full time as a transgender woman, they accepted me at family times, and with their friends, granted me the freedom to present female.

    Last night my son-in-law calls. They are planning their oldest child's (my grandson of course) Bar Mitzvah, a major event in Jewish life. He very firmly tells me that this event is about his son, and to prevent any attention drawn away from him or to subject him to any bullying from his class mates, and also to make it easier on his parents, Dorit will not be allowed to attend!! If I want to come, I have to dress as a man! Needless to say, my wife and I are devastated and did not expect this at all. We believe we know how to respond, but in the meantime we are processing the pain.

  2. #2
    Member Mirya's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about this. There is a difference between acceptance and tolerance, and unfortunately what initially seems to be the former turns out to be the latter.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Laura912's Avatar
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    What Mirya said. One wonders what your grandson’s preference would be.

  4. #4
    Transgender Person Pat's Avatar
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    Dorit -- I am so sorry you have to experience this. Remember that when people close you out you have a choice of how you react -- you can, in turn, close your door to them or you can keep your door open to them so they can find their way back to you. I always remember a poem that I learned in school (back when schools in the US taught poetry):

    “He drew a circle that shut me out-
    Heretic , rebel, a thing to flout.
    But love and I had the wit to win:
    We drew a circle and took him In!" -- Edwin Markham
    I am not a woman; I don't want to be a woman; I don't want to be mistaken for a woman.
    I am not a man; I don't want to be a man; I don't want to be mistaken for a man.
    I am a transgender person. And I'm still figuring out what that means.

  5. #5
    Gold Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Devorah,
    So sorry to read you story, it cuts so much deeper when family hurt you , so now you know how they may truly feel about your dressing situation .

    Deciding who is right and who is wrong is a tricky one , do you respect their wishes or stick them out and respect yours ? If you don't make a stand is it going to happen again and you gradually lose the ground you have made ?
    The real me ,no going back.

  6. #6
    Member cdtraveler's Avatar
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    I Too am sorry you must go through this experience and while it's my hope our society moves onto fully accepting differences I can also empathise with the social pressures others feel to comform as well. Especially in non adults. It's these types of quandaries that have me frozen in between my authentic self and that the self I projected for over half my life and which is "normal" to my family.

  7. #7
    Gold Member Rachael Leigh's Avatar
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    So sorry to hear this I do know from personal experience that family seems to be the most difficult when it comes to those
    who are trans, I understand it to a point but when it comes right down to it we are the same person.
    I wish for you the best

  8. #8
    Aspiring Member OCCarly's Avatar
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    I grew up around enough Jewish kids in West Los Angeles to know how serious this is. And I know how conservative some folks in Israel can be. This is a tough one and my heart hurts for you.

    I am getting ready to give away or donate the last of my male wardrobe, but I am keeping two business suits— the one I got married in and one to wear for benefit of certain relatives when my parents pass on.
    Carries a spray bottle of "pink fog" around with her in her purse at all times.

  9. #9
    Member GracieRose's Avatar
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    Devorah,
    I'm so sorry to hear of your situation. Thanks for sharing it though since we all need to hear tales of rejoicing and of sadness.
    I understand your son-in-law's position. I can't defend it, but I understand his concern. One of the reasons that I stay in the closet is fear of how my grandchildren might be abused by playmates (and their parents) because of their grandfather's inclinations, if they were widely known. It shouldn't be a concern, but the reality is that it is in today's world.
    I agree with Pat's advice, difficult as it may be, but wise (as usual).

  10. #10
    Aspiring Member ~Emma D~'s Avatar
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    Devorah, as with others, I'm saddened to read your story.
    Hopefully, you can work it out with your family, if not immediately, then in time.
    Best wishes....
    Just Wanting to be the Real Me

  11. #11
    Nasty Woman Melissa Rose's Avatar
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    Dorit, I am sorry you have gone through this experience with your family. I hope it gets better with time and dialog.

    I will second the idea that acceptance and tolerance are often difficult to tell apart. When acceptance turns out to be tolerance, especially by those close to you, it can be a painful, hurtful surprise. IMHO there is a twist to acceptance I call situational or context acceptance - someone may be truly accepting of you in some circumstances, but not in others. An illustrative example would be a parent being totally fine with their teenager going to the mall in tattered jeans and a t-shirt, but finding it unacceptable for them to attend a family wedding or funeral in the same attire. In the teenagers mind, they are the same person and why should their attire matter that much, but the acceptability of their appearance matters to the parents because of the situation or context. While this is not the same as being transgender, the basic idea is the same. Whether we like it or not, we live parts of our lives situationally, but in some cases it can be hurtful or harmful.
    Last edited by Melissa Rose; 03-14-2018 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Typo repair

  12. #12
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    Shalom Devorah,
    Thank you for sharing you truly sad moments with our larger virtual community here. We all support you and hope for brighter days ahead.
    I must say though that your soon in law is a schmuck! Respect of elders is first and foremost mitzvah by itself. I agree with him on one thing - the event is for your grandson, who happens to become soon an adult by Jewish tradition and responsible for his action. It is his event and I think it makes sense for him to decide, not his father. If grandson is cool with you comming as you are, I would do just that. If not, then you can decide for yourself.
    Hugs,
    Katya

  13. #13
    A.K.A. Rebecca & Bec Becky Blue's Avatar
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    Dorit, So Sorry to hear your sad story, I wish there was some easy solution, some middle ground but that would seem unlikely. As others have said I wonder what your Grandson thinks? I think your SIL is so wrong in saying they are concerned he will get teased, kids are so much more tolerant than their parents, most kids wouldn't care.
    Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself. – Coco Chanel


  14. #14
    Member Tommie.'s Avatar
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    My best friend, a Trans woman who was a Baptist minister for over 30 years, said "Because we are Trans we must always take the high road for acting negatively gives the receiver justification to their fears and hatred". I go to my own Mother's funeral Friday which I have set up and taken care of Mother for her last 20 years.... but I will go in guy mode so as not to distract the family who grieves for her. I too have a few guy clothes of which I loathe to wear... and avoid any situations where I have to... but if clothing for a little bit like a major family function preserves a relationship or love... then I must acquiesce.... take the high road.... for those relationships are priceless to me. As all have said in the end everyone must decide for themselves. My heart hurts for you as well... but we all know this as Trans-life.......
    Make Your Best Shot, With What You've Got !

  15. #15
    Member Dorit's Avatar
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    Thank you all for so many thoughtful responses. You girls are amazing! There is an irony in all this in that the Synagogue they have chosen for the Bar Mitzvah is of the Reform Progressive movement and on their website they declare there acceptance and embracing of all LGBT people. However, they are not members and are using it for this one time event.

    I cried a lot over this one. I realize I am the cause of a conflict in my family that is just beginning. We have seven more grandchildren in Israel. I have chosen a path that is still socially controversial to many people. I sat with my wife, who is my total partner and supporter in my transition. I cried over the mess I was making, but I saw that for me I could not agree to come as a man. It would be just the beginning of a flood of such requests from other family members. Besides, it would seem like this is just a "thing" I've got and they could all continue to deny how deep this really is in my soul. She agreed 100%. There was another option I raise, that I could stop my transition and go back to being a "man." This would end all of our family conflicts. For me it would be like death to go back, what would I do with my life? ( Death is also an option but would leave her alone, but I am not really suicidal, but a sudden heart attack could clear things up) As you can see, I was broken, emotional and in a crisis situation. My wife and my soul mate of 48 years said that in no uncertain terms am I going to stop my transition. She said that this is too good to be true that we are experiencing such a deep and joyful change in me in this last season of our lives, and she is the major benefactor even if no one else in the world can see it.

    So we believe we have the answer for now, even though we have yet to speak it We will express our love and acceptance and complete understanding for the difficult situation we have caused our son-in-law. The best solution, although far from perfect, is that we will not attend our grandson's Bar Mitzvah. It is after all only one day. And besides, he has twin boys three years younger! I really believe with all my heart that three years from now the situation will be entirely different.

  16. #16
    Transgender Person Pat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevorahK View Post
    And besides, he has twin boys three years younger! I really believe with all my heart that three years from now the situation will be entirely different.
    I think you're making the choice that I would make -- at least I hope I would make that one. And I think you need to go celebrate your wife who sounds like the absolute model of what a wife should be. I have a family event coming up (son's wedding) and I'm relieved that everyone (who matters) is accepting of me and I have no qualms about attending as my true self. If it can't be like that for you this time, then I hope that next time it is.
    Last edited by Rianna Humble; 03-14-2018 at 06:35 PM. Reason: Sorry Pat, no religion even in this thread
    I am not a woman; I don't want to be a woman; I don't want to be mistaken for a woman.
    I am not a man; I don't want to be a man; I don't want to be mistaken for a man.
    I am a transgender person. And I'm still figuring out what that means.

  17. #17
    Member Tommie.'s Avatar
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    I feel your words, your heart and your wisdom.... I must go as my old self to this funeral.... but after listening to y'all's thoughts.... never again will I do that.... for y'all are right D and Pat.... God bless
    Make Your Best Shot, With What You've Got !

  18. #18
    Emerging Diva Nikki A.'s Avatar
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    I feel for you and I wish I could come up with a compromise. As a grandparent you want to be there on this important day of their life, but you do need to be true to yourself also. I do hope that you listen to your heart and your wife and be able to be happy with your decision.

  19. #19
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    Devorah, my heart aches for you and your amazing and loving wife. I've never attended a Bar Mitzvah, but I wonder if it would be possible for the two of you to be with your family for a while after the celebration activities were ALL over, so that you could congratulate your grandson on his big day?

  20. #20
    Gold Member Rachael Leigh's Avatar
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    Devorah, your resolve and courage is amazing and your wife is so very special.
    My situation with my family caused me much heartache and well for me I did decide to stop so I guess I don’t have your
    amazing strength. I really hope you find your peace and your family will come to accept you

  21. #21
    Living MY Life Rachel Smith's Avatar
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    I am so sorry to hear this Dorit but I too learned the difference between, as Mirya said, tolerance and acceptance. Still hurts to this day. I hope yours is not as long a duration.

    Hugs
    Rachel
    My parents should have known something wasn't quite right when I kept putting Kens' head on Barbies' body Rachel Smith May 2017

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