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Mitzy's Mom

"Parenthood comes in many forms."

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Mitzy was poking her peas around the plate one night at dinner. Her parents exchanged a look, silently asking the other which one of them would ask their daughter what was going on first, like an invisible game of rock paper scissors, before one of her fathers cleared his throat.

“You got a grievance with the peas? You are moving them around your plate with an air of disinterest and I thought they were your most favorite vegetable ever. Last I checked, at least. Is that no longer the case?”

“Barky Matthews said you lied about me not being adopted.” Mitzy spilled the words out in a mumble.

Looking at his husband, the attempt at humor that was in his eyes as he made a joke about the peas, even quoting her words previously said at one point, back at her, drained into a more solemn expression. “We didn’t lie sweetheart.”

“Barky Matthews said you did and he told everyone that I’m a rejected kid and that I have two dads cos no mom wanted me!”

“You’re really gonna let some kid named Barky make blind judgments on your life?”

“Jordan. Not the time.”

Holding his hands up in surrender, Jordan gathered his plate and then the others. “I’ll go get dessert or something,” he mumbled.

“Sweetheart, it isn’t a lie that you were born to two loving male parents. You are not adopted. But even if you were, being adopted is not a bad thing. It was a very callous thing for Barky Mathews to imply that adoption means rejection.”

“Then why don’t I have a mom? How do you explain that? I learned in biology class that it takes a man and a woman to make a baby. I have two men as my parents. That’s either biologically impossible or you two lied to me!”

Azrael took a deep breath. “Okay, if it helps you to understand the science of it, I gave birth to you.”

Mitzy gave him an incredulous look. “What?”

“I was born a woman and became a man. It is called being transgender. I transitioned from a woman to a man. I changed my name to a boy name and I got a few surgeries and took hormone pills to --”

“Why?”

“I had to.”

“Why? What’s wrong with being a girl?”

“Nothing. Nothing at all. I just never… felt like a girl. I felt like I was born with the wrong body. I felt like I had a boy's brain and a girl's body. So I had to do what I could to make it… match. I had to take science into my own hands to make myself match.”

“Why couldn’t you just make your boy brain match your girl body?”

Azrael sighed, years of exhaustion in one slow exhale. “I tried. I lived for years as a woman and I was miserable. It felt like faking. It felt like acting all the time and the curtain never closed. It was a never ending performance. I got tired of acting and I wanted to try it the other way, so I did, and it felt… real”

“How do you know you’re real and the other you wasn’t? Maybe you just had the wrong friends or something?”

“Because when I was by myself, I still felt wrong, thinking of myself as a girl. I couldn’t look in the mirror without feeling like I was looking at some stranger, not myself.”

“Do you ever feel like the girl you were is sad that you didn’t want her?”

“I used to. But she was just a role. I am me. There isn’t any other person that was me that died so that I could be me. That’s not my narrative. That is the narrative to some people who have a similar journey, but not mine. I have always been Azrael. My parents just didn’t know it and named me something else and raised me to who they thought would match my body instead of asking me how I wanted to express myself in the world.”

“What happened to the name before?”

Jordan came back with a pie, three plates, and forks. He silently set the plates in front of everyone and cut a slice of pie for each then sat down in his seat. Azrael looked awkward and for a moment, Mitzy thought she did something wrong.

“I’m sorry. You don’t have to tell me. I was just wondering. Are you mad at me for asking?”

Azrael shook his head. “No. Not angry, because you are my daughter you are allowed to ask me anything you want about this, but it is a bit of a poor etiquette question to ask anyone else that is transgender. I need you to understand that.”

“I can ask you about gender business, but no one else, unless they give me permission to?”

“Exactly.”

“So what is it called if I am a girl brain and a girl body? Staygender?”

“Cisgender.”

“So Daddy J, you’re Cisgender?”

Jordan nodded. “Yes, I am Cisgender.”

Mitzy looked at her other father. “Did you know about Daddy Azzie being born a woman when you met him?”

Setting his fork down on his plate he glanced at Azrael before nodding. “Yes. He told me before we were married, back when we were just starting to date each other.”

“Were you mad?”

Something softened in Jordan’s face. “No, why would I be mad?”

“Cos he lied. If you like boys and he’s got the body of a girl, that would make you mad, right?”

“First of all, how someone feels in their mind and heart will always supersede what their body is. I am a boy in my mind and in my heart. My body just happens to match that. Daddy Azzie is a boy in his mind and his heart, but he was just born with different parts. That’s not to diminish your biology. A person’s biology has an important role, but in this context, the biology you are born with is just the way your genes decided would be, the way it makes new people, like the way you were made by me and Daddy Azzie. You learned in biology how babies were made, right?”

Mitzy nodded awkwardly. “Mrs. Pichaels thought it would be a good time to talk about that, since Mother’s Day is coming up. And then I said, ‘what about if you have two daddy’s,’ and Barky Matthews said that I was probably adopted, and yelled it really loud and everyone laughed.”

Azrael and Jordan exchanged a glance with each other. “Would you like us to come to your class and explain a few things to everyone? Tell them the truth?”

Looking awkward and twisting her lips anxiously. “Maybe?”

Jordan reached for Azrael’s hand. “Aren’t you glad we did that photo shoot,” he asked with a squeeze.

“Not really…”

“What photo shoot?”

“We did a few professional Daddy and Baby photos from when I was pregnant with you, saved some of the sonograms from the ultrasounds. We were going to give it to you when and if you decided to have your own offspring. Or when you got married or some other milestone.”

“We never really celebrated Mother’s Day. What about for the first Mother’s Day, we can call it the First Father’s Day or Bonus Dad Day or something like that so you don’t… have to act or put on any role you don’t want.”

“I would appreciate not being misgendered, thank you.”

“Does that make me, Second Father?”

“Only because May comes before June.”

“Fair. I can live with that.”

The two husbands shared a chaste kiss and a warm smile, very mindful that their daughter was watching.

“I like when you hold hands and kiss. It means you’re really in love. Being in love is important for parents.”

“Yes. That is true.”

“Can I see the picture book?”

“You don’t want to wait til the actual day? It is probably in some box in the basement.”

“We already got the pie, so we can celebrate early.”

“Key Lime pie is my favorite,” Azrael assented.

“I’ll go find the photo album. You two eat your pie and don’t eat mine. I’ll be right back.”

Taking a fork to her pie, Mitzy took a bite. “So, what was your name before,” she asked, softer.

Azrael gave her a gentle smile. “My name was Mitzy.”

“You gave me your name?”

“I thought it may appreciate a second chance. Maybe be worn by someone who could love it.”

“What if I grew up trans too and didn’t want the name?”

Azrael shrugged loosely. “Then I’d call you what name you choose. And Mitzy would just be a name for some stranger to pick up and wear and learn to love.”

“Well, I don’t plan on changing my name. There aren’t a lot of Mitzys, so it makes me feel special that not a lot of people in my school have the name. There are like five Brookes, and two Brittney's and three Vanessa's..”

Azrael smiled as he took another bite of pie.

“Thanks for telling me about this, Dad. I hope it wasn’t too awkward.”

“Not too awkward. A little, but not too much.” He gave her a half smile that she mirrored.

The two of them ate in comfortable silence for a while, almost in unison, slicing their pie in tiny bites with their left hand, taking a bite, and licking their lips after they swallowed the bite down.

Like father, like daughter.

Published 
Written by OpheliaTusk
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