Life’s strongest quality is that it keeps moving on whether we want it or not, and every day changes into night and weeks and months. I moved on and met new people. I had the opportunity to come across the ‘gay community’ for the first time in my life and that too by chance!
This meant there were many new visitors to my home. Explaining to my daughter the concept of being transgender wasn’t difficult but answering questions like, “Ma.. why don’t they wait to be born again as another sex and not accept the body they are born into?” “Why does the make over have to happen?” was hard. Partly because I still have no answers myself. I placated her saying, this is how they want to live this life and they don’t want to wait to live.
I read through some of the personal pages of my daughter’s diary which she shared with me about how she was confused about the women in her mother’s life and at times she did not like them and other times she was happy they were there making her mother and her happy! I spent weeks explaining to her that smiles and tears are a part of all relationships and we need to look at the good side of it all.
The difficult part was when she came home crying one evening. She told me that some of her friends commented on how I always had young tom boy looking women at home. That night I was torn with guilt, “Was I risking alienating my daughter socially because of my own needs? Is it selfish to want to be with someone and not spend my life alone?”
Mothers are a blessing and seeing how I was going through a tough time, my Mom decided to come live with us for a few days. When my daughter saw that my mother was totally at ease with my relationships and was respectful to my partner, she understood that lesbian relationships (like any other relationship) are respectful, need to be accepted as normal and will have imperfections.
Time flew by and soon she turned 12. It was an age of many transitions perhaps some more than ordinary. But then our lives are not ordinary. Even though we insist that our alternative sexuality is ‘totally normal’ , the experience of it can be a bit out of the ordinary.
This was a phase of internet and Google and she found many words like bi sexual, lesbian and I faced many questions about which category I belonged to and if I was born this way or people converted or transformed. I managed to sail through these questions, somehow.
Once, I was offered a chance to be on a talk show in NDTV and I felt reassured when my daughter said, ‘Go for it, mom. This is normal and people should understand that’. After years of emotional turmoil, she had finally realised that it was ok for her mother to be a lesbian and if people couldn’t accept it, that’s their problem. But most importantly she saw this was our home and family, ours to make the best of.
Although I felt the worst part was over, I wondered how the next phase would go? How will my daughter formulate her equation with my partners now that she knew there was a bedroom story behind this friendship?
To be continued…