So my parents arrived in town last week to spend the holidays with me and the rest of the family. Every time they come, I spend at least two weeks prior to their arrival preparing myself for all kinds of slightly offensive comments spread out during the day – triggers to constant fighting when we used to live together, and that I have accepted as just a part of them I am going to have to live it for the rest of our lives.
But then this time, my mom has amazingly proved me wrong.
There had already been a few situations when I noticed she was much more conscious of queer issues than I thought, but the ultimate demonstration was when a discussion about trans* people came out from her seeing a book of mine (“Viagem Solitária”, the autobiography of Brazil’s first trans man), which lead to us talking about an interview she had seen of him and another famous Brazilian trans* person.
All throughout the discussion, she never, not once, got their pronouns wrong – she didn’t even do the “he… she… he…” thing; and she was consistently more informed on the subject than I ever thought she could be.
I was struck by a mix of utter pride and relief that I might actually feel safe someday in coming out to her. Perhaps it was even my own queerness, though still undeclared, that made her change so much over time. So I ask you:
Have you ever experienced a moment of unexpected support from someone you thought to be immutably close-minded? What do you think is the strongest motivation for such people to try and educate themselves?
The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it to appear on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 3pm ET.
*featured image is of João W. Nery, Brazil’s first trans man, holding his autobiography.