Since I transitioned I’ve been afraid of the word father. Afraid of being seen as a father, being gendered by my fatherhood. Afraid of being my father. Afraid of how I hear his voice when I get angry. Afraid of how his mannerisms creep into my behavior.
I used to mimic my dad. He was my male role model. I mimicked the good and I mimicked the bad. I’d spend two weeks with him and I’d come home walking and talking like him. My mother hated it.
When I’d argue with my wife I’d see my dad come out in me. He’s where I learned to argue with women.
So naturally that’s all behavior and mannerisms I do my best to avoid in my current gender presentation.
But in doing so I’ve handicapped myself as a parent. I’ve cut myself off from the tools a father uses to communicate with a son.
Because as scary as my dad was when I was little, he also went on to become a better man and better father when he moved away to Alaska when I was six. Something up there changed him and he was generally a benevolent if neglectful presence in my life.
At any rate. I have my father’s voice in my body and I realize now that it doesn’t threaten my gender if I use that voice.
I had a conversation with my son yesterday that he needed to hear. He’s a young man who is growing up and he needs his father to guide him. It’s not about the word itself, I’m always going to be Robyn to him, and it’s not the sound of my voice, it’s the tone and intention. I’ve never had a conversation like that with my son and I think we’ll both remember it forever. I hope so.
It’s an attitude adjustment that I can make because I realize now it doesn’t really matter if I‘m perceived as masculine. I’m trans.
I possess my father’s voice and I’m not afraid to use it.