Every week, the chronic phenomenon of New York Times on love is offered to you exclusively, translated into French, by International mail. This Sunday, the story of a transgender man whose parents with Alzheimer’s have trouble remembering his true identity.
Unlike my mom’s regular emails (where the entire message fits in the subject line), this one had no text, only a photo attached. When I clicked on the file I was shocked to see her skinny and with a deep gash above a black eye.
I called her immediately. “Mom, what happened to you? – I fell. Where it’s flat, near the puzzles. ” Then she said “I go” and hung up.
Between our terse conversations and photos like this, I find it hard to recognize the chatty woman who met my needs and listened to my desires as a child. In all fairness, I have to admit that there were times when she too had to find her transgender son unrecognizable.
Thirteen years ago, at age 34, I first injected testosterone and began my physical transition to becoming a man. Very soon my voice got deeper, my muscles grew, and hairs grew all over my body, except, unfortunately, where my hairline was starting to recede.
At last yourself
For the first time, I felt good, in agreement with myself. The image that the mirror sent back to me reflected the feeling I had always had inside me. What has been more difficult in this transition is my relationship with my parents.
They quickly wrote me a letter encouraging me to reconsider my decision to become a man. The message, cruel though it was, was undoubtedly based on their lack of information, their fears and concerns about me, but it was not comforting, at this turning point in my life, to tell me that I could not no longer rely on their support. Over time, our relationships have – slightly – improved. Most of the time, we just avoided the topic.
Then, in 2015, my dad emailed me telling me that he had memory problems and that an MRI had recently shown the first signs of Alzheimer’s. Three years later, my mother learned that she had the same disease.
Last summer, when I visited them, I had confirmation that they had fallen into the throes of dementia and could never get out of it. While my father and I were seated in armchairs, my mother looked out of the window of the
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