Note: This would be the last time I'd see my dad in person. He'd pass away almost four months later
I am back home after my first father-daughter trip.
Well....not really. I made the entire trip as boy name.
Going as myself wasn't a realistic option for many reasons. First off, I'm nowhere near being able to present my true self in public.
Second, these were relatives I hadn't seen in over 20 years, so....kind of difficult to surprise them with this.
Third, these are relatives who live in a conservative state full of homophobic cowboy machismo. For a state that dislikes government and believes in the individual, those beliefs only extend to people who are exactly like them. Then it's okay for the government to step in and make sure these people are treated like second-class citizens. Or, heck, just be rugged individuals and take the offending individual out in the country where nobody can hear them scream and do 'what needs to be done, yup."
Maybe I'm exaggerating...slightly....but Wyoming is not and never will be an LGBT-friendly state.
Dad arrived early...while I still had work to finish. So the first day was pretty much a waste.
The second day, we took in the spring game, a baseball game and some dinner at a Cajun place. A good day.
The next day....we started our trip west.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, it was only going to be a three-day trip, as far as being where the family was.
Some of the time was spent eating one meal or another with family.
One afternoon was spent driving up, down and through the mountains, taking the long way back. Good company and great scenery. Loved it.
Another afternoon was spent going to the old family ranch..where another branch of the family still lives.
This was a spot where my eyes glazed over, as talk turned to old vehicles and motor parts and 'i bet that 350 mooboga could run really well if you hyperflange the orbotron setting to six" or whatever the hell it was that was being said.
These were bittersweet days. It was wonderful being able to take a trip with my dad..the first time I'd done anything with him in forever. He also knows about me and is fine with it. That's a tremendous blessing.
I was reconnecting with these relatives...which is great, except that I can't trust that these same relatives won't reject me when they find out about the real me.
My father is less conservative than they are about such matters.
One of my aunts hugged me as we were leaving and said, "I'm not going to lose you again."
And the first thing that popped into my head was, "You probably already have. You just don't know it."
A long drive back and now....I'm home.
I'd hoped a few days away from here would clear my head, but it really didn't.
I am still stuck in the same place I was before.
I know I can't back to being boy name and burying myself..that's not an option.
But going ahead and taking the steps to be Kara? So, so scary and I'm just here...frozen.
I'm too strong to go back and too weak to move forward.
Something will change for the better eventually, hopefully.
But for now, I'm paralyzed.
But at least I know my father loves me for who I am.
For now, that will have to be enough.