Is it made of blue cheese?
Fri Sep 29, 2017 04:00

Dade was back to looking surly, which Holland supposed shouldn’t surprise them. It seemed to be Rose’s brother’s default attitude. Just like how Rose defaulted to stubbornness, and Connor to—actually, Holland didn’t know Connor well enough to say. Being supercilious, maybe? It was the impression they had from their limited conversations with the middle Farnon kid.

“No, no, of—she’s not mad,” Holland said, only just managing not to qualify it with an of course. That fact apparently wasn’t obvious to Dade, so they shouldn’t say of course. But what were they supposed to say Rose was? ‘Concerned’ had the wrong connotation, but Holland couldn’t figure out which adjective they should use. “She’s trying to figure out how she can be helpful to you, and she picked this conversation,” Holland gestured to the pair of them with a vague circular motion, “as the most helpful thing she could make happen.”

Cis people didn’t usually know what would actually be helpful for trans and nonbinary people. Holland thought Rose’s idea—getting an actual nonbinary person to talk to Dade—was one of the better ones. Holland’s parents had jumped very quickly to “psychologist.” Monty and Bryony’s attempts at helping their gender-variant child had ultimately come to a good outcome, in Holland’s opinion, but there had been some less-than-useful detours.

“Figuring out is different for different people,” Holland said. They had a few other gender-non-conforming friends back in Pittsburgh (Mom was big on support groups) who had similar-but-different stories about realizing they weren’t cis. But Holland knew their story best, so they would just stick with telling Dade that. “For me it started with clothes,” they offered. “I felt really uncomfortable—not physically, just with myself—with the clothes my parents and relatives would get for me. I was pretty young at the time, maybe six, so it wasn’t like I could go get clothes for myself. And then I realized it wasn’t just my clothes that made me feel that way, it was also the pronouns everyone used for me, and any references to my gender at all.” Holland remembered a few times in elementary school when the teacher had asked the class had to line up by gender in school, boys on one side of the room and girls on the other. Holland hadn’t felt good about going to either their assigned side or the other one, and they’d been told off for not following directions more than once.

Holland tried to figure out how to describe that not-just-right feeling—like wearing too-small shoes, like expecting another step at the top of a staircase and falling, like having to listen to a song you hated on a loop—and eventually settled on one. “It was like listening to someone describe me, but they were getting everything wrong, and I couldn’t correct them. Until eventually I did.” Loudly, and repeatedly, until someone had done something.

  • So Rose thought he might be ‘questioning his gender’ or the way he ‘expressed his gender’. Dade scowled. He didn’t even know what that meant. He had mostly followed along with Holland’s explanation... more
    • Is it made of blue cheese? - Holland, Fri Sep 29 04:00
      • Blue cheese isn't that blue - Dade, Sat Sep 30 15:48
        Well if this was what Rose thought was helpful, Dade didn’t want to see what Rose thought of as unhelpful . The helpful thing would have been to just ignore it and move on (okay, the yelling part had ... more
        • Maybe the moon is Swiss cheese - Holland, Sat Sep 30 19:19
          Holland maintained a practiced composure while Dade got defensive. Ah, shit. Dade might actually be some flavor of gender non-conforming. If he didn’t identify at all with what Holland had said, the... more
          • I don't think the Swiss are smurfs - Dade, Sat Oct 14 15:21
            Nope this was bad. Very bad. Holland kept talking and Dade just felt more and more uncomfortable. He kind of wanted to ask more questions, but he also very much did not want to ask more questions.... more
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