Dealing with a death in the family is usually a difficult situation, but when being LGBTQ+ it could become an awful experience, especially when it’s your partner and or friends family.
First, you have to deal with a death and to anyone that can be a difficult thing to do. If it’s your friend or partners families funeral, it can really be stressful for the both of you. Then you have the family, which some families don’t have an issue with people who are LGBTQ+, and then again some do not approve and or don’t understand.
But like my girlfriends family, they have a lot of older people in the family that just don’t understand nor do they want to.
It can become uncomfortable and or could even be a dangerous situation. The demographics also comes into play when we are talking about people and transgender issues.
I, for one went to my girlfriend’s grandmothers funeral which was in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania, a place of extreme support for Trump’s policies. A type of area a transgendered person could feel very unwelcome.
My partners immediate family knows I’m transgender and does not have a problem with it, her parents in fact, love me. Now let me also say my girlfriend’s sister also happens to be in a relationship with a transgendered person. A male to a female woman. Which also is a “flaw” to most of the population. Again, most of that has to do with the demographics as well. Her family does not have the same reaction to me as they do my girlfriend’s sisters partner.
My girlfriend and her sister are already known as “the black sheep” of the family and now we add two people that are deprived of human rights in the mix with people who have no knowledge about LGBTQ+ issues nor want to. We seem to have a party, generally speaking, doesn’t always end well.
I ran into some issues along the way. First, it had a huge contribution to how you are presenting yourself as well (how you dress). Some of the family had children and when you have parents that are negative to trans people you will have children learn that behavior or disdain as well. So, some of those families said we need to dress according to our birth gender.
To me this is a catch 22, I agree and disagree. I personally believe yes, I want to be who I am and be proud, but that comes with having consideration for the family. This is not the time or place to showcase myself. This is a time to support the family.
My girlfriend’s sister is the type of person to not care about judgment and will still do what she thinks is right, regardless of consequences and or looking out for others feelings. So her girlfriend had a dress on, which caused fewer issues then we all anticipated. Yes, of course, she got stares and mean facial expressions. But this did not stop her from being her true self. I’m sure she wasn’t 100% comfortable but it was the fact she showed who she was and didn’t allow that to stop her.
Now for me, I know I wasn’t 100% comfortable at all, but that day wasn’t about me. I wanted to be there for the family and more importantly for my girlfriend. I personally believe you should show people who you really are instead of hiding, but this was not the case or time.
I wanted to blend in as much as possible and be just another body in the room. We all got some sort of stare and snark look but we continued to stay positive as much as possible at the moment.
Our goals to not make too much of a scene was successful. We may have had people talking a bit, but it wasn’t as bad as we all pictured it was going to be. I think this time everyone who was there wanted to just be there for each other and grieve. Which made me realize that no matter who you are or what you are, it doesn’t matter when you truly let go and just be there for one another. We need to just be there for each other, look past the body you see and be there for the heart of the person you see In front of you.