No More Ms. Nice Girl
August 6th, 2012
Ashley had been trying to remain patient with her parents’ refusal to use her new name or correct pronouns, hoping that they’d come around on their own. In a letter she sent them a couple months ago, she sternly asked them to call her Ashley and decided to correct them whenever they refer to her incorrectly. With Mom & Dad staying in her guest room just down the hall and the weekend’s imminent raft of corrections, Ashley felt a building sense of anxiety in the weeks leading up to their visit.
Her parents call her by the wrong name 18 times on the first day (yes, there’s an app for that), and Ashley turns to her online support network for advice. She considers asking her parents to stay at a nearby hotel if their devil-may-care approach to her name carries on.
Jay thinks Ashley’s parents use people’s names in conversation more frequently than necessary and he asks Ashley about whether her parents may be doubling-up on names out of spite or if that may be part of her parents’ upbringing.
A shopping trip the next day offers a few bright moments that take Ashley by surprise, and she and Jay try to puzzle out this new behavior and how to encourage it in the future.
Ashley introduces Sephora by Opi’s Nail Color Quick Drying Drops and shares a few tidbits around the chemistry of drying nail polish that she’s recently learned. Ashley also talks about a new technique for removing nail polish with only one or two cotton balls (and in as little as 5-10 minutes).
(Ashley’s polish in this episode is Fantasea from Orly. We aren’t being paid to say this — just thought maybe you’d like to know.)
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Podcast (video): Play in new window | Download
Personally I would have sat them down and told them something like:
“When I was living under your roof, you expected me to follow your rules. I would appreciate the same amount of respect while you are in mine. If you cannot abide by the rule of using female pronouns, etc, you are welcome to book into a hotel and we can continue our visit tomorrow, but you will not be staying here.”
It sounds like your father may actually be trying to break the mold he’s built for him self. Perhaps if he makes the switch full time, your mother may follow. I’m seriously doing a happy dance for you right now.
Sephora is one of my favourite brands. It’s expensive, but sooooo worth the money!
Seems to me like your dad may be treading a line between shifting to female pronouns and avoiding ticking off your mom who isn’t yet ready to do so.
Hang in there, my dear! It is progress, even if it is slow and aggravating.
It’s funny you should mention that, Dinah. I too was pondering the chances of whether my dad might be holding back to avoid irking my mom. On the other hand, it seems my name might be the stickier part (for both my parents) and the theory might be more convincing to me if, say, my dad were to be using the right pronouns for me more often (which he hasn’t been).
Either way, I’m curious to see how this plays out.
I would have to wonder also, even though the wine store manager is not someone they know well, whether your dad’s moment of “adjustment” didn’t also have a little to do with saving himself embarrassment. Really sounds (especially with your mom) like there’s some sort of passive-aggressive bit of “if we don’t ‘encourage’ this change maybe it won’t happen.” Or is could be as simple for her as a process of thinking, I’ve called my child this name forever… really not sure.
my 18-y-o recently came out as a transman, though its something that he’s told us about for some time. We’re all trying to shift and the new name is actually a little easier to stick to than the pronoun… we correct the pronoun to what he has asked, but we’re not yet totally getting it right, at least in casual conversations among our immediate family.
Apologies… I made the earlier comment before watching the rest of the video where you clarified a lot of things I was wondering about, coming to this as a first-time visitor. I’ll put off further comments until I’ve got more background on what you’re describing about your interactions with your parents. Here’s hoping that they find their way in time.