Home' LOTL : October 2009 Contents 47
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It’s both sad and fascinating how people around you manage to
convey a sense of what’s okay and what isn’t. From an early
age I knew that my mother would disapprove of my wanting to
play with the girls – and actually longing to be one myself.
When the Beatles first shocked the world with their ‘long’ hair –
hardly covering half an inch of their ears – I was on the brink of be-
coming a teenager and saw this as a chance to look more like I felt. But
trying to talk my mother into letting me grow my hair was like talking
to a brick wall.
After I told my parents
about my trans side, at age
twenty, things got even
worse, and half a year lat-
er I moved out. Not only
could I now let my hair
get substantially longer – I
could also dress any way I
wanted, and I soon started
attending parties with my
uni friends as a woman.
Everything would have been lovely were it not for my mother,
who usually looked at me like I were a slimy creature that just
crawled out from under a stone. Still, every time I would cowardly
let “try to make this a nice evening” win over my desperate desire
to tell her to leave me alone.
Still things got worse, and when my mother noticed that I had
rings in my ears this was a total disaster for our relationship. In
spite of my parents’ living a mere five kilometres away my mother
once refused to see me for nine months.
Two days after my oldest son – her first grand-child – was born
she called to tell me that she felt sorry for this little boy who
would grow up with two mothers. In spite of this scenario being
an unspoken dream of mine, it still counts as one of the worst
moments of my life. Also, I couldn’t bring myself to tell my wife,
and it was to be quite a few years before she realised that my im-
mensely sad eyes at the time did not signal that I regretted having
Five years later I took my involuntary time out, and for the first
as always – seven years, our relationship was quite nice. The
next seven, when once again I grew my hair and pierced my ears
more times than I cared to count, were terrible. When, in early
2000, I sent her a letter about my probable sex change, she called
to tell me that I was selfishness embodied – and refused to see me
for another eighteen months.
When eventually we met, a few months after my sex reassign-
ment surgery, it really was quite un-dramatic, but she also made
it clear that we were not welcome to visit her summer house – the
south Sweden farm where she grew up; too many relatives and
curious neighbours in that corner of the world?
Five years later she implied that it would be nice if we did,
though – but by then her cousin Birgit, one of the loveliest persons
I ever met, was almost blind, and will never be able to see this
new woman. Eighty-eight years old she still hugs me as if it were
a matter of life or death, and calls me “Erica” like the most natural
thing in the world – but she will never see me.
For this, and so many other things, I will never be able to for-
give my mother.
By Erica Zander
She called to tell me
that she felt sorry for
this little boy who
would grow up
with two mothers.
Civil Marriage Celebrant
M- 0403 818 038
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