"I had tried hard when she was younger, without success, to make her present as a girl, or what I felt a girl should look or act like. I kept hoping the girliness would "stick", and to help alleviate some of the fighting, between her father and me. Most of the time, I didn’t care how she dressed, but I did feel conflicted, and tried to have one less thing to fight about with her dad. I had my shitty mom moments too, though"
During her brother’s wedding, I forced her to wear a dress. She begged to wear a tux instead, and he said he didn’t mind. I insisted on the dress with lowheeled shoes and her hair worn down, very feminine. (Where is that fainting couch?) I was thinking of family pictures. Looking back, knowing her brother didn’t care probably made wearing that dress worse for her. Her awkwardness resembled that of Whoopi Goldberg, walking across the street wearing a dress, in the movie Ghost. She was so miserable. She told me that day, "Pretty hurts". I still cringe thinking about it. What a deep statement for her, knowing what we know now. Her feelings weren’t choices. I still was hoping something would stick.Something actually did stick; scars and bad memories. Those instances caused so much pain for her and regret for me. It also didn’t work. Bullying takes on all forms, even that of a loving parent. This alone should tell you, bullies couldn’t push her into being gay and I couldn’t push her into feeling like a girl. Likewise, bullying, no matter who was doing it, wasn’t going to make her into someone she wasn’t. I am so proud that she stood her ground, even with me and her dad, and waited for her own truth, on her own terms.