Talking trans with a toddler, part 2
Meal time seems to bring out my nephew’s interest in the “mysteries” surrounding my upcoming surgery. Last night at dinner, he asked if “auntie” was a name. I didn’t quite understand what he was getting at and answered that it was a “title” (which didn’t clarify anything.) He muttered on about something else, and his mom explained to me that what he was hinting at was if “auntie” was part of my name, stemming from a conversation that he’d had with his parents about me. Not knowing how his parents want to have this addressed, I decided that I would find the opportunity to discuss it with them in more depth before diving into much detail with the little one.
This afternoon around the lunch campfire, he again brought up “the mask” from his own minor surgical experience, and how it scared him.
Then, tonight at dinner he started talking about the surgery again, asking when it was and about “the mask.” I asked his mom how she thought I should address his questions, and her response was that this was new territory for everyone so there was no plan of action set out. I suggested that we let him indicate his interest and comfortability, as he’s been doing. Then I decided to turn the tables and put a question to him…
I asked him if he thought I was a boy or a girl. He shrugged and didn’t know how to answer. His mom asked him what he was, and he quickly stated that he was a boy. Then she asked what his dad was (a boy) and what she was (a girl). He fired the answers out quickly and without hesitation. Then she asked him again what I was, and he did not have an answer. I looked at him and said, “Transboy!” It made me extremely proud that he doesn’t instantly think of me as a girl! This leaves us less barriers to break down as we all explore this together.