So about a year ago now, I was really nervous to come out to my parents as trans. Very religious (and part of a group that demonizes trans people), and I’d heard my dad making some pretty bad remarks about trans people in the past. So it was something I’d been stressing over for some time.
But both my mother and father took the news pretty well.
However, due to the social bubble we all lived in, they had practically no experience with trans people. So shortly after I came out, they did need some guidance in that regard. Mom especially was willing to ask questions. She asked me what exactly being trans really meant so when I explained it to her (as best I could), she paused for a while.
“So, you’d be like my daughter?” she asked.
She paused for a bit longer, then got up. “C’mere, I have something for you.”
She led me to her bedroom and opened up her jewelry case. After sifting through her necklaces for a moment, she held a sapphire heart pendant out to me. “This is yours.”
“Is it?” I asked, carefully taking the pendant and looking it over.
“When your grandmother passed away, you kids were allowed to take something of hers as a memento. You picked this necklace. You were young, so I held onto it for safekeeping and thought I’d give it to you to give to your wife if you ever got married.”
I never got married.
“Well, it seems appropriate for you to have it now.”
I didn’t remember this at all. But I was quite young when this happened. It did click some memories that I’d previously forgotten, though. I remembered several times I wanted to dress up like the girls as a kid. And several times I’d been mistaken for a girl and thought about how that made me feel. Things fell into place. Things made sense.
I couldn’t really find words, so I thanked her.
“Now, about heirlooms,” she continued.
“Oh, I know. You already gave them all away to my cousins. I’m not worried about it.”
Our family has several heirlooms that were meant to be passed down to daughters.
“Not all of them,” she smiled. Then found an old jewelry box from her closet. Small, wood, and ornately painted. Many of the hinges threaten to fall from the box, but it’s still usable and the pins holding them in are delicate enough that I’d be afraid to try to repair it. “You can take this if you want. It’s not very good, but it’s an heirloom.”
I agreed to take it. She was right; though I use it as a jewelry box now, I do plan on eventually getting something better for daily use. The box, however, I’ll keep safe. The necklace, too, may not be my style (I prefer simpler jewelry), but I’ll definitely hang onto it and keep it safe.
Both because they’re family heirlooms and because they symbolize the time I came out to my parents, and they accepted me without a second thought.