DEAR AMY: I’m a proud mother to my gay son who lives across the country. We love him unconditionally. My son married his partner, “John.” They have been together for several years. Recently, my son came to his father and me with shocking news that my family is still reeling from. John is a trans man who has had “top surgery,” and is actually three months pregnant. John is going to keep living as a man, even during the pregnancy, which they told us was planned. We’ve met John many times, have spent holidays with him, and neither he nor my son had given any indication that John was born a woman. When we told our other children, my daughter, who has three young children, decided she would no longer have contact with them. She did not want to confuse her kids, and was worried about the unborn baby’s future. My other son said he was “disgusted” by the situation, and won’t have contact. My husband and I feel hurt, misled, and are confused, but really want to focus on getting everyone to move past this and to accept them. No one will participate in any sort of therapy, and I worry that the family will never recover. How can I bring everyone together?
DEAR CONCERNED: In researching your question, I have read several stories about transgender males who have successfully given birth. This issue seems at the vanguard of the new gender and family structures we are all encountering, and I assume this will become more common in the future.
Regarding your own family, you have no option but to let your other adult children make choices concerning their relationship with their brother, his husband and their child.
I agree that it would have been a kindness for them to be brave enough to give you a heads up concerning John being a trans male. (However, given the reaction of your son’s siblings, I can see why they didn’t.)
You should tell both of them how you feel about their choice to keep this information from you.
Then you should turn your attention toward the baby. This baby is coming into your family in a highly unusual way, but babies arrive in families in all sorts of ways, and of course you will love and cherish this child as you do your other grandchildren. That’s the best you can do, and it’s all you need to do. You can’t make this situation right for everyone else, and so you should make it right for you and the child.
DEAR AMY: I am a college student. My first romantic relationship just ended. Our relationship progressed incredibly quickly emotionally, and because of that I think we never really built a strong foundation. We decided to be “just friends,” but I don’t know if I can do that. The night we broke up, he told me he thought he loved me and I said the same. How can two people in love just be friends? My feelings for him haven’t changed. He says he still has feelings for me and he’s just not in the right headspace right now. Is he just trying to let me down easy? All I can think about is what he’s doing, why he’s not texting, and what girls he’s probably meeting at the moment.
In Love In La La Land
DEAR IN LOVE: Your guy might be involved with someone else. This “I’m not in the right headspace” statement is sometimes code for, “I’m in someone else’s headspace, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings.”
Another possibility is that you two became too serious too soon, and now he is freaking out.
Ultimately, a friendship might not work for you because of the dangling possibility for more.
What you are going through right now is the tough underside of the beautiful experience of falling for someone. Please understand that you will get through it, but the best passage for you would be in the company of other friends, not your ex.
DEAR AMY: You recommended to “Torn” that she should not reveal a one-night-stand to her boyfriend. I disagree. I found out about my partner’s one-night-stand 20 years into our relationship, and it destroyed us. The best way to deal with this is to disclose it now.
DEAR DESTROYED: I am so sorry this happened. Readers are passionate about this issue, and are evenly divided, which is why it is a true ethical dilemma.