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Nov. 11, 2013: Visiting Mara’s Parents

November 11, 2013

We’re in Florida visiting Mara’s parents. Her mother has cancer, and she is not getting better. Mara’s parents haven’t seen her since her facial feminization surgery, although she presented as female when we spent Thanksgiving here last year. When we arrived this time, as Mara walked up to her mom to hug her, her mom said, “My God, you’re beautiful!” And she cried when they hugged. She was happy to see Mara no matter how she was presenting.

Mara’s dad still uses the name Gary sometimes, and he corrects himself. So Mara gave him permission to use either name. At first, he was relieved and said he’ll use Gary. After awhile, he started using Mara. Now he’s using Gary again. People just want to know that they have choices.

At one point, Mara’s mom said that I was a lesbian. I just let her know that I’m not attracted to cis-women, and if it wasn’t for my relationship with Mara, I would be with a man. And Mara and I both distinguished our relationship not as heterosexual nor as homosexual, but as transsexual. It’s a shade of gray that many people have a hard time accepting.

They still have a few photos of Mara and me when Mara was still presenting as male, including our wedding picture. And we have no problem with that. There was one photo, though, that made me feel kind of melancholy. I wasn’t in it, just Mara, presenting as male, with someone else at her sister’s art exhibit. I looked at that guy I fell in love with and I missed him. I guess I’ll always feel a bit of loss for Gary. But I know that Gary and Mara are the same person. The person who was sitting next to me as I looked at that photo was the same person I married nearly 17 years ago. And I still love her.

 

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