In the world of people considered “gender-variant” the word “acceptance” carries a significance which “normies” (that’s normal people to us) don’t often understand. Acceptance, to be complete, must be two parts; self and other. In society at large, everyone seeks acceptance, both self and other, and surprisingly other acceptance seems to be far easier to acquire. All you have to do is “look” acceptable and “act” acceptable. It’s pretty much all a visual thing. The measure, or standard of acceptability, however, is something which is generally established, first by family; parents and grandparents primarily. At least that was my experience and I’ve seen little else to dissuade me of that impression. But what happens when the acceptable “look” or “act” of others, runs contrary to the acceptance of self? Conflict!

Conflict usually results in a winner and a loser, but all too often there are only losers. Win-win situations are seldom the result. No one wants to be a loser; to live in a situation that leaves one with a sense that they are un-acceptable. When that occurs the result is black make-up, florescent hair, a body that looks like the impulse-buy rack at the Wal-mart checkout stand. But at least the pin-cushion teenager feels a degree of acceptance from their peers. And while society in general thinks “oh dear me” there are no laws to prohibit the “look”. Nor are there pandering politicians introducing laws to ban it, so eventually the “look” reaches acceptability, that is, as long as the individual expressing the “look” and acting the “act” appears to accept themselves, they are “acceptable.” After all … for the most part, they’re still looking like the sex they were born into.

I can, and have, gone on ad nauseam about society’s disproportionate treatment of the “gender-variant” community compared to the treatment of the remainder of the LGBT community. But this isn’t really about society … this is about family. Family is where attitudes of acceptable behavior and “being” are birthed. A normal family has two sets of relatives; father’s side and mother’s side. I happen to come from a family which is made up of loving and caring people on both sides, but the way those two sides deal with and accept “abnormal” behavior; read that “me”, is polar opposite. I can deal with the disapproval of the one half because I genuinely believe they care. But, when it comes to my children, that is another issue altogether.

One of them, my daughter, is genuinely accepting. The youngest son is reserved but not critical. The oldest however, delivered a real e-mail punch in the gut for a New Year’s Eve present. Without the painful details suffice it to say that even after reading the original manuscript of “Dear Mom and Dad” and the explanations of the co-existence of me and his father, he has concluded that his father no longer exists. He’s concluded, and his “judgment” is that because he doesn’t understand he therefore doesn’t approve. Therefore, his further “judgment” is that I no longer have a place in his life. I can and will live with that decision on his part. I just wish it wasn’t so. He hasn’t made that “judgment” of my sister, his lesbian aunt. After all, her lifestyle is not visible and therefore doesn’t require explanations to his son who is being raised in a backwoods bubble.

I have concluded that God created families with the express purpose of forcing us to deal with difficult people and the most painful of rejections by people we cannot avoid. Otherwise we could go our entire lives never having to face the pain that families too often inflict.

You don’t suppose do you, that our Heavenly Parent … God to most people, can relate to the sense of rejection by His children the way we earthlings do?

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