so my college graduation party is coming up. i was pretty excited because that means ill be home in the US after a year away. i love my family and friends and miss them so much. im so excited to talk to people. in english as well!
over the last year and a half I have been increasingly experimenting with makeup, to the point that i think that’s what i want to do for work. My parents have been mostly supportive, even if they are weirded out. Which im obviously fortunate to have. They are also at the very least tolerant of my gay identity, and as i grow into a genderqueer, possibly trans woman, they don’t seem to have a lot of issues. My appearance looks increasingly ambiguous and strange, honestly, but strange in a way that I enjoy.
But my sister and her family live in Nebraska. and they have been verrrryyy weirddd about the whole gay thing and me wearing makeup, ESPECIALLY in front of their kids. (but its interesting because my sister (10 years older than me) introduced me to a lot of ‘feminine’ things when i was younger. nail polish, heels, dresses, certain music, etc.) Her kids constantly ask me why I am even wearing pink socks, because ‘those are for girls’. But i don’t feel like its my place (nor should it be) to educate them on why colors don’t mean gender, so i just have to sit there awkwardly. My sister also doesn’t let her kids get rainbow toys, because of pride. ALSO! when my oldest niece found out that i wore makeup, my sister called my stepdad because she was frustrated that we told my niece I wore makeup and they had to have ‘hard conversations’ with her.
Now back to my graduation party. At my high school graduation party, I was MISERABLe. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I felt dumb. I just hated it. And I hated that my parents were making me do it. But for my college graduation, I was kinda excited! Not even to celebrate my degree. I don’t care about that honestly. I just feel like I have been through so much and I have learned so much. I have grown and become a person that I love and its so nice to have that feeling. I was excited to come home and show my extended family who I have become (even if they don’t get it, or hate it). I was excited to come home after over a year away and finally hug people. talk to people, smile, laugh. see my family and friends again. talk in english! hear english! eat american food! (more like mexican food but… you get it). I just felt like a lot of love would be in the air and everyone being around each other just sounded so nice.
I assumed my sister and her family wouldn’t come, because they live so far away. And if they did come, I assumed they wouldn’t bring their kids. My mom told me today that they are allll coming. I said… “Ok… well I might wear makeup, I haven’t decided yet”. And my mom was instantly irritated. I went into panic mode, and im still in it. She said “Really??” and it seemed like she was frustrated with /me/ for wanted to wear makeup. this makes me feel so dumb and immature for wanting to ‘prove a point’. though i don’t know if it is to prove a point. makeup is where i feel the most creative, the most me, the most excited about life. its where i learn the most and have the most fun. i think thats beautiful and i think that should be shared??
anyway i told my mom that im not changing my decisions based on if my sister’s kids are gonna be present, because that would be a ridiculous way to live. Many times, my mom said, “Well I think there needs to be respect on both sides.” To me, I feel like I don’t need to? My decision to wear makeup is AT WORST a neutral action with no consequences. What other people do in response to that has NOTHING to do with me or the action that i have made. I don’t need to respect anything if my choices don’t have any actual effect? My sister /chooses/ to avoid anything ‘unchristian’, which is unfortunate. But ultimately, I don’t care? If they choose not to come because of the possibility I wear makeup, do i care? no.
but my mom was really upset with this. she said something about how hard it is to have ‘those conversation’ with kids so young. I know I am very used to being queer, but in my mind there is NO CONVERSATION to be had, let alone difficult ones? Humans of any age can understand that queer people exist and that queerness is a thing. You have to /choooose/ to raise your kid in such a way that makes those situations and those people ‘difficult’ conversations. You get me? If a kid is raised in a world that says ‘straight is bad’… more than likely, theyll believe it!
Makeup being ‘for girls’ is not a genetic belief that all children have. Plus, my sister was upset last time her kids found out i did makeup, so its not like these conversations have a positive or accurate description of what queer people are.
my moms reaction was just really startling. it almost seemed like /she/ was the one with some shame, some embarrassment, some wish that i would stop. In my mind, if she was supportive of me wearing makeup, she would understand that me wearing it was a NEUTRAL action AT WORST. but she’s adamant that these are ‘hard conversations to have with children’. which just DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO ME. LIKE… the ADULT decides if the conversation is hard or not. The kid is a sponge, the kids mind is open to what its opened to. it cant be that hard to understand, right?
then i feel kinda unsupported by my mom, like she has some shame. and i wonder if that support is unrealistic to ask for. I’m so accustomed to people expressing themselves in every way that I don’t even think twice about it, but maybe that’s just not the case for other people? I don’t know. But that’s when I remember that my mom’s cousin and I have a good relationship. We will call her Shannon. Shannon is a conservative new yorker. Every time I post a picture of me with makeup she comments something wildly supportive. She’ll message me about how good I look. Her wedding is coming up and she went out of her way to ask me if I wanted to get my makeup done by her makeup artist. She’s gonna PAY for that out of her own pocket. She’s sitting me next to some other gay people she knows. Again, she’s conservative (excluding social matters I guess?) and there will nooo doubt be a lot of older conservatives at the wedding. But did that stop her once from including me and CELEBRATING ME? NO!!! so maybe it isn’t that much to ask for?
and i told my mom like, i HATED my high school grad party. but i am ready to celebrate me at my college grad party. I love me. I am excited to celebrate me with everyone in my life, for once. and if I can’t wear makeup to MY OWN grad party. Then who the fuck are we celebrating? what are we celebrating? who’s party is this? like if this isn’t a place where I can be me, whats the point?
i don’t know it just feels funky. I kinda feel like a brat. but also… I could’ve just not said anything and showed up in makeup without warning my sister and her kids. which would be COMPLETELY VALID. because makeup is a NEUTRAL ACTION. like WEARING A BLUE SHIRT INSTEAD OF A BLACK ONE. and it would just be insane to change my self expression at my own party, based on people I haven’t seen in probably 2 years. what do yall think? I also wanna know if yall have any similar experiences where you felt like a brat, but i dont know why? I kinda feel like a teen. Like I could just shut up and not wear makeup for ONE day. but why should I have to ???
I don’t know, my mom and I haven’t had issues in so long and I don’t want to go back to that.
Now im not so excited. the party doesn’t feel like a safe space.