Just about ten years ago, I came out to my parents. For a long time, that didn’t really mean anything: no changes, no transitioning, just them having the knowledge that I’m trans.
About three years ago, I started on hormones and mark that as the general beginning of my actual transition. While I spent about a year presenting as male some of the time and female some of the time, both of my parents knew I was transitioning and (at some point during that “in between” year) I had a chat with both of them about wanting to be called Rebecca, and referred to with feminine pronouns.
Last night, my dad – who is attempting to help me with some insurance stuff from having my gallbladder removed – called to ask my about my social security number. “It’s still under [male name], right?”
I paused, surprised he would even ask such a question. “No, I went to the social security office and had it changed.”
“Oh. But do you have a new card?”
Frustrated, I told him, “Yes. A new card. With Rebecca on it. Sitting on my desk at home. Same social security number, different name.”
It wasn’t until reflecting on the conversation that I realized how upset it made me. After ten years of being out to him, does he not understand how important this is to me? It wasn’t that he wanted to double-check about the name associated social security number. I could understand if he said, “I just wanted to double check that your social security number is under Rebecca now.” Or even, “Hey, what name is on your social security card these days?” I might be a little annoyed, but not really upset or hurt. But the way he did phrase it, assuming it wasn’t important enough to have gotten changed, really made me feel like he still, after all these years, is just as clueless as he was when I came out to him.