I had a feeling, almost a premonition, that something interesting was going to happen when I went out yesterday. I started by picking out my outfit, a white dress with a floral pattern and matched it with a pair of nude pumps as seen in the photo to the left. But at the last second I replaced it with a hot pink dress and matching stilettos as shown in the photo below.
My makeup looked good. My mascara made my eyelashes so long that they cast a shadow on my face. My lipstick matched my outfit. Whatever was going to happen, I was going to face it by looking fabulous. I was going to meet up with a friend for dinner and I had some time to kill so I went to the mall. I popped into a few stores and then as I rounded a corner, I saw her.
I saw my mom.
I came out to my mom a few years ago, when I still identified as a crossdresser. I still identify as a crossdresser but I feel transgender is more appropriate. It was a surprise to her and although my mom is a wonderful person and supportive of the GLBTQ community, she wasn’t prepared for this revelation and it didn’t go as well as I had hoped. But I think I could have explained myself better. I think had I explained what it meant for me to identify as trans as opposed to me wearing dresses and heels it might have gone differently. I think when I started to identify as transgender instead of a crossdresser I went from “this is what I like to do” to “this is who I am”.
I was excited for her to meet Hannah. I wanted very much to go shopping with my mom, to meet for coffee. To be a daughter, even if only for an afternoon. But it wasn’t meant to be. She was glad I was honest with her but wasn’t ready to meet Hannah.
Over the next few months, we had a few more conversations but I didn’t feel they were going anywhere. I soon gave up on the hope of her meeting Hannah. It would still hurt from time to time, however. I knew my mom loved and accepted me, but I couldn’t help feeling sad that there was this part of my life, another half of my life, that she didn’t want to know.
I could have pressed, but I respected her feelings.
Lately it has been on my mind, though. I wondered if enough time had passed for me to broach the subject again. When I considered this, most of the time I decided to drop it. When I didn’t decide to drop it, I wondered how to do it, and ended up dropping it anyway. But yesterday my mom faced me in the most literal way possible: by running into me at the mall. Because of course I was at the mall.
As we walked towards each other, I didn’t have that sense of panic. It was more like…what should I do here? I remembered my mom saying she didn’t want to meet me, but it felt wrong to just pass by her and not say anything. But I also felt like this was my chance. It was meant to be.
After the initial shock, we got to chatting. Small talk, how the week went, what was coming up later on in the month, my sisters, weekend plans. I am sure running into Hannah was the last thing she expected to happen on her Saturday trip to JCPenney’s but my mom bounced back well and was comfortable, chatty, friendly and just…normal. It didn’t feel weird or tense.
We ended up walking around the store and talking for about 20 minutes until she was off on her next errand. In the parking lot I told her that I knew she didn’t want to meet me and that I was sorry it happened. I am not sorry for who I am, but I respected her decision to not meet me. I told her that this afternoon was something I had dreamed of for a very long time. I let her know if she ever wanted to go shopping or have a coffee that I would love to meet up with her.
I was surprised at how emotional I was when I told her this.
We said our goodbyes, she told me she loved me (as she always does when I see her) and she hugged me. Do you know how long I’ve wanted her to hug Hannah?
I walked back to the mall and immediately texted my wife. After I told her what happened, we exchanged this:
My evening went as planned and later my wife called my mom just to check in with her now that she met me. My mom was supportive and talkative, had some questions for my wife and was very encouraging. I suppose ten years ago I never thought I would have had a day like yesterday…having a wife who is supportive, having the confidence to go out, having the courage to tell my mom and for my wife and my mom to chat about my gender identity on the phone.
I never really thought what occurred yesterday would ever happen and who knows if she’ll ever see me again. Yesterday life became a whole new world for myself and for my mom. It was full of new. I mean, how often does your mom meet you for the first time?
19 thoughts on “So, This Happened…”
Well, that’s something to put on the calendar! Good to hear it went well and must have been quite a surprise to both of you.
BTW, the text message did make me laugh. That’s very much a mum thing to say! 😀
Wow! You’re right, it was meant to be! Nice too that it happened to occur at such an unassuming location as the mall with you both just doing what people do. I hope this leads to positive expansion of Hannah in your Mom’s life!
I am happy for you, as you say it isn’t often that one meets her mother for the first time. I do have the feeling that you (Hannah) and your mother will become friends as well as relatives. Just give it time.
Wow… What an absolutely incredible story!!! It gives the rest of us hope! 🙂
But seriously. you should publish that story. Perhaps you already plan to do so in Frock or elsewhere. It is super well written, honest, and inspiring. I think the comments you make about gender identity are super interesting and very helpful. There is what we do, and who we are.
Thank you so much for this and your other posts. It would be great to see a vibrant trans community in the Twin Cities!!!
YAY! What a terrific story!
My stepmother has always been behind me from the first time I came out to her, as has my father. Last September, I got to see both of them AS Amy, at my youngest brother’s wedding. I got stepmother-stepdaughter and father-daughter selfies, and had my picture taken with the rest of my family and my new sister-in-law. And that was when I knew…this is really who I am. I couldn’t deny it any longer. Now I’m on HRT, I’m ready to submit my name change petition, and I am within weeks of becoming a full-time woman.
Oh Hannah! What a great day. You must have felt so fulfilled. I’ve been visiting your site and blog for two years or so, and I suspect that yesterday happened because you’ve put a lot of effort into two important things. You are very good at appearing feminine, womanly. You’ve prepared really well. And you have been patient,very patient, while staying hopeful and positive. You’ve made your own luck, hon, and deserve every bit of it. It sounds like you share a lot of traits with your mother. You and she both have good reasons to be proud. Your day has made my day. Thanks, Rianna
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I was very moved by this story Hannah. Do let us know how things unfold.
So glad you shared this moving story Hannah. It certainly seems like your chance meeting with your mother was meant to be. It’s very inspiring how you handled yourself with poise, tact and integrity. I “came out” earlier today to my mother, as a crossdresser, which I’ve been wanting to do for years, and always look forward to reading your blog.
Great story about a courageous journey in owning who you are. To me, the most striking aspects of the story are that you confidently walked towards you mother because you’ve been done hiding or running from Hannah for some time–and the first person you contacted after she left was your wife–because you know she cares and understands. (I’m still hiding and live with a wife who doesn’t understand.) Nancy
what a lovely story Hannah hugs to you, your wife and of course your mom
Hannah, This has been your most powerful story ever. Really struck home. The story was very well written and the story Line well presented.. The 20-30-50 feet walk toward Mom was very very brave. Super happy that all came so well. AM sure you get to have that COFFEE meet. Enjoy the memory and THANK YOU FOR SHARING this wonderful story.
MARIE ANNE GREENE
what a day that was for you. what are the chances to meet some one you know at a store??? well its all over she has seen you and that is that. life must go on, no matter what we do or dress up in. we are x dressers and that’s that . if they like it good for us and them, if not oh well, I love reading your post and others that leave one, give me more courage to show and tell my wife why I dress up. and knowing I am not alone in this world of x dressing. only if the world would see that there are more x dressers out there that they don’t know of. could be your Dr. dentist, friend, neighbor, lawyer, co worker. would it matter if you knew they were x dressers .NO it would not matter to me at all, if I would know I would open up to them and tell them I am aslo a x dresser and maybe get some help with how to do make up better, where to shop that will deal with x dressers. thanks for sharing another one. love the style dresses you wear and you look fabulous as a female