When I posted it I felt it was more than safe to share that story with the world, because it had been a while since it happened and everything seemed to be going fine. One day she seemed perfectly happy that I was girlie and the next...not so much. I'm not sure of what made her change her mind, but all of a sudden, it did. It wasn't a complete 180, but she wasn't as comfortable as she had been. All she said was
"you have to dress like a boy around me now, because boys can't be girls"
Obviously someone had said something to her.
At first it seemed she was just against it all together but she understood I am who I am and loved me anyway. So, I made sure I only wore men's clothes and I didn't wear any makeup whenever I was going to see her. But she still seemed disappointed. I thought it might be because my hair is long, so I reminded her I was going to be cutting it all off soon, but I couldn't do it yet. That just seemed to upset her even more
"but it's so pretty, don't cut off your hair. You look more prettier when your hair is long. You don't want to look like a boy all the time do you?"
And then she made me let her make up my face and paint my nails. Now I was completely confused
Call me an idiot if you like, I guess it was obvious, but it took me a while to figured out she didn't want me to try to be a guy again, she just didn't want to be teased about it
My daughter had her birthday party the other day. When she gave me the invite she told me "You can wear a dress if you want...it's okay"
I asked her if any of her friends knew about me and if they were okay with it. That if they didn't I should probably come dressed in men's clothes because it probably wouldn't be the best time for them to find out.
"okay, well you have to wear boy clothes, but we are going to dress you up at my party...can you bring your makeup?"
The plan didn't really work though. Even though I was dressed in my manliest man clothes
- big jeans, an oversized flannelette shirt and some old skate shoes -
no one was convinced I was a guy. They all asked who the lesbian was...I told her she could tell them anything she wanted, that I was her dad, her aunt, whatever...but before she could say anything, her mum told them all I was her dad
"that's okay dad, you're a boy but you're not really a boy. That's who you are! Can I decorate you now?"
It's not the first time I was, unconvincingly, dressed as a man while with my daughter. She thinks it's funny that people can't tell. Because to her, even though her uncles and grandfathers are extremely manly, I still look quite masculine. Even though she's never seen anyone 'clock' me, she thinks everyone can tell I was born a boy and everyone laughs at me when I'm out in a dress. After her party though, I think she realizes that even when I try really hard to look and act like a man, most people see me as a woman.
There was no doubt that this would be hard for my daughter. The problem is, I know it's my fault, but I can't not be me. I'm not sure what to do.
There's no way I'm going to leave her, but I wonder if leaving a larger distance between me and her as father and daughter will help her life be more normal. Should I take on more of a role of an aunty or just the title. Or do I just help her through it all as best I can with the way it is...
After the short period of doubt and confusion, I know she doesn't have a problem with it personally. She even prefers me as I am now. I'm just worried how everyone else will treat her...for something that isn't her fault...for something she has no control over.