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Dec. 20, 2013: Mara’s Extended Family

December 20, 2013

We’re in Florida. Mara’s mom’s memorial service was two days ago. I met members of Mara’s extended family for the first time; her aunt and her aunt’s two daughters flew in from Maryland. I was a little nervous, because, although they know about Mara (her mom had told them a few months ago), I wasn’t sure how accepting they would be. They were incredibly accepting. They were happy to “meet” Mara and me. Mara had not seen them in more than 20 years, so it was almost like they were meeting for the first time, while they also showed a familiarity with one another that made it seem like they’d been in touch all along.

Everyone has since gone home, and we’re staying on through Christmas Day with Mara’s dad. The next day, we’re flying to Baltimore to visit my niece and her husband for a few days. We told Mara’s aunt and cousins our plans, and they said they would love to see us when we come up. So we’re getting together with them, and we’ll meet her cousin’s husbands and children.

Mara also spoke with a male cousin on the phone yesterday. She hadn’t seen him in decades either. And he was also accepting. And finally, before we left for this trip, we sent out Christmas cards to people whom we hadn’t yet told about Mara. So we came out to them via the cards. One of Mara’s friends and former colleagues emailed her expressing his support. And another left a voicemail on her cellphone saying he is completely supportive. This friend also used to be Mara’s neighbor when she was still presenting as male, even before we met, and we had become friends with his family. So this call meant a lot to us.

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