me and my dad don't talk a lot, and a bit back i called him out for that, and after a lot of excuses it came down to 'I don't know how to understand what you've done to yourself and what you believe about yourself' and honestly wtf?

See, here's the thing.
My dad doesn't know how the sun works, or how airplanes fly, or how comics get made. He doesn't understand economics, or archaeology, or Spanish. He doesn't understand Twitter, the stock market, broadcasting, photography, or hip hop.

But he doesn't insist they don't exist.
He doesn't understand my politics, or my writing, or my fascination with modern dance. He doesn't understand my frustration with the band Yes or my autism spectrum disorder or my love of David Lynch.

But he's never *fought* me on those things.
He doesn't know how cell phones work. He can't draw. He's never run a business, or flown a helicopter, or read Wittgenstein.

He's also never insisted these things are *false*.
He doesn't really get philosophy. He's never grasped why I find baseball and football so dull, but love soccer. He doesn't know why anyone would get a tattoo, & if pressed, I bet he couldn't explain why kids love the great taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Seems fine with it, tho.
When I was considering converting to Judaism in college, he didn't get it, but also engaged me thoughtfully on the subject.

He didn't, as he did when I told him I was going to transition, say he hoped I didn't "do that to myself."
There's lot of things my dad doesn't understand and yet is fully able to accept. Lots and lots of things. The speed of light, comedy stylings of John Mulaney, my problem with Rush Limbaugh, Søren Kierkegaard, how to make pottery, why anyone would listen to Oasis.
What *I* don't and can't understand is why my needing to transition isn't one of them.

What *I* don't understand is how he can't look at my life then and my life now and realize how much healthier I am.
I have a good career and a good day job. I'm in the happiest relationship of my life. I'm taking care of my body, my mind, and my apartment. I'm no longer passively suicidal. I've produced a body of writing that dwarfs anything I did in the entire 31 years before I transitioned.
Im every single measurable sense I am a happier, healthier, more complete person than I ever was beforehand.

But he "doesn't understand."
I mean, like, look, real talk. I do not even vaguely understand non-binarity. Every time it's explained to me, I just kinda gotta nod my head. But i don't NEED to understand it to accept it; a LOT of my closest friends are enbies, and I love them the way they are.
What the hell is so hard about accepting the people you say you love?
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