We buried the ashes of my aunt and uncle yesterday in a cemetery in the Napa Valley. She died a little over two weeks ago and he died twelve years ago. We had scattered some of his ashes in Puget Sound the year after he died, and the rest sat in a closet next to the light bulbs because my aunt didn’t know what to do with them. Or she couldn’t let go. Or something. She never said, no one ever asked, and now we can’t.
Before I booked my flight, I considered not attending. I felt some mild uneasiness about attending the service. It would be the first time I’d see parts of my extended family in over a decade, and I just wasn’t sure how the whole thing would go. It went well, excepting the fact I was attending a funeral.
Everyone called me Heather and referred to me as she. There were a few times when I could see family doing the mental transform on my name and relation when being introduced. I spoke graveside and primed the pump by introducing myself as her niece.
Being trans means that even when you’re trying to focus on other people, you have to think of yourself.
My favorite cousin and her three kids, who are all in their 20’s, were fantastic, giving me big hugs when we met. My male cousin, who has apparently bad mouthed me behind my back, was even friendly and if there was anyone who I was fearful would deadname me, it was him. He didn’t, and when I saw him for the last time before he left, he told me he was happy to see me happy. Wonders never cease.
The best part was that no one asked me anything about my gender or transition, excepting my cousin, who asked what my kids call me now. But that was it. It was refreshing to not have to hash that part of my life over and just be able to talk about other parts of my life.
Going through airline security was a non-issue in both directions, with us being shunted through the metal detectors on the way down and an efficient pat-down on the way back. I’ve never been through a scanner and never will, as I feel it is an unreasonable search, so I sidestep the any issues about being flagged with a physical ‘anomaly’.