Sunday, October 28, 2012

Random Post- My Aunt Mia

My grandparents and one out of my fathers three brothers with his wife and son and daughter moved to Florida when I was very young. We only went up to visit them twice before I was even 12 years old, and they have all come to see us maybe three or four times. My Uncle Mike was always well kept.He dyed his hair, got manicures(without color) and all my family has always busted his balls. Last Christmas my Uncle Mike called my other two uncles (not my father) to tell them that they were going to come up for Christmas and to be prepared because at home he dressed as a woman and he wanted to come up as herself.
He never called my dad.
My father and my Uncle Mike NEVER agree on anything. Expecially politics. I think my Uncle was most scared of his opinion because he was always very close minded towards him and it was his way or no way.
My dad was mad when he found out and my uncle didnt tell him and also shocked because how does this happen to an "italian man" with a wife and kids.
My Aunt Mia chickened out of coming to visit.
She has been more and more open to who she is lately, even making a facebook of her new self and adding old friends from high school and Rhode Island.
My father got so many questions about her from his friends and people he sees everyday. Working in the community they grew up in, I even got questions about it. My dad always turned it into a joke though. My dad even got a birthday card from his sister and got very angry about it, thinking that my aunt was just busting his balls.
I didn't think it was funny, but at first I was pretty mad that she did that to her family. My cousin Zack got into fights at school over it, and what must her wife think about it?
Then they all came to visit over the summer. They broke the news that they were looking for a house back in Rhode Island. My Aunt Mitzy kept telling us how "her and I think its best if" and "She wants this, " and I remember thinking why does my cousin Ashley have so much say in this? and it took me fifteen minutes of conversation to realize she meant my new Aunt.
We went out in public with them and my dad was very uncomfortable, both of my Uncles were away in Kawait so they didn't see them but I know one of my Uncles refuses to talk about it with his wife and two young daughters.

I decided to write about this because last night I received a text from my father saying that "Uncle Mike sold his house in Florida" ......which means she is moving here. The second text was "You ladies can all get together and do your nails."

Its hard to tell my father that he is being close minded when he grew up with all brothers and knew one thing his whole life. I know that this whole situation just makes him uncomfortable and making jokes is his way of handling it, but I also now know that it is wrong.
I think being in class we learn the what is right and wrong about dealing with gender issues and such but applying it to your own life and family is harder then a person you did not know prior.

I am accepting it, but I know my father still hasn't. I still struggle with if i am going to correct him or tell him he is being innapropriate. I want to let him deal with it in his own way because I know when they move here he will come around, but at the same time I feel like it is my responsibility to correct him.


  1. Thanks for sharing that story! I think the generation gap is a huge issue like the fact that our parents grew up with so much restriction and prejudice. They went to school im sure with just as many LGBT people as we do the difference is that its more accepted now. People back then hid their true selves from others where now its not such a terrifying thought to do so. I know my father would probably react the same way your father did. But its also difficult as a daughter to tell your dad he's wrong in his actions. Tough situation for sure especially since he grew up with a brother and now has to see him as a sister. Maybe he needs more time to wrap his head around it?

  2. You raise a lot of complicated issues here. Unfortunately the road to self realization can never be just the self- its that whole thing about how we can't live in a vacuum. I know that in my family my father- the working class italian catholic struggled because "why do girls as beautiful as you have to do this stuff to yourself" almost 3 years since I told him, and two since my medical procedures he still struggles. I think your points about the age gap are important- its like we talk about in class- so much of this stuff is time and place relevant. It may shift as they are in closer proximity. Want an every day act of feminism? Use the proper name and pronoun of your aunt- and let people know why its important. If you are gutsy you can correct them. It keeps the conversation moving forward for those struggling and models how the change is possible. Not to mention it will make you a hell of an ally :)