suicide attempt, Catholic church, parents, family support, love, queer, fear, coming out, transgender, trans, vegan, humour, preferred pronouns, preferred name, gender affirming surgery, Pride, Trans March
Vincent: My parents did not accept that I was trans, and they did not use my pronouns or my name. It took months. It took months for them to realize that if they didn’t accept me fully, they would lose me entirely.
Vincent: That wakeup call happened when I was hospitalized after a suicide attempt. But the wakeup call happened. And from that point on they’ve been very supportive. And somebody had asked them, because they continued to go to church. I--my years have parted ways with the church. And it wasn’t just because I had a negative experience, but for me… I just stopped holding that belief system. But they continued to--they continued to be Catholic, and to live the faith and go to church. And so they had once asked them how do you deal with this? What, what is this process to you? Like, what - why do you accept this? And my mom’s response was, I have no choice, he’s my son, I love him. And it’s really funny, because I have a lot of funny stories, but here’s the best funny story I have. So when I was fourteen and I brought home my girlfriend for the very first time, I come from a very traditional Catholic Italian family. Don’t let my last name deceive you. My dad’s father is from Germany.
Vincent: So that’s why I have the last name Bolt, but my mom’s family is Italian, and I’m very, very close to my mom’s family. And so, I bring my girlfriend over to my Nona’s, and I am afraid of how my Nona is going to respond to me being queer. And I’m thinking, oh shit, Nona’s going to lose it. So I bring her over, I introduce everyone to her, and it comes out that we are a couple. My Nona adores this woman, and we were together for six and a half years.
Vincent: And we broke up six or so years ago. And she still asks about her. And by the way me and my ex, we’re still best friends.
Vincent: And…my Nona had no issue with us being in a relationship. Then, a few years later, I come out as trans. And I’m expecting this to be a big deal, because again she’s, she’s older, she’s traditional, she’s Catholic. And it did confuse her at first. She had no idea what this really meant. It was new to her. But she wasn’t against it either. Um, it took her a little while to figure out the name and pronoun thing.
Vincent: But my Nona is badass, she can call me whatever she wants. So, I kind of saw it as her using my old name is not a sign of disrespect. It is going to take her longer than my parents.
Tara: Right. Right.
Vincent: And when she started calling me Vincent, I’m going, oh my God, that moment has come. Well, six years ago, I had to come out again, and this time I’m going, okay this is going to be a really tough one. Nona, I’m a vegan. When I came out as a vegan, it was the end of the fucking world. My Nona lost it. She is yelling at me, going what are you doing, this is not right, this is unnatural, there is something wrong with you. She is yelling at my mother, how dare you let him do this. He’s ruining his life and you’re letting him do this? Because I won’t eat meat. So, that reaction, that I hear of so many times or that I’ve--I received when I came out to my parents as trans…
Vincent: Did not get that from my Nona with coming out as queer, coming out as trans, but when I said no meat, no eggs, no dairy, no honey, she could not accept that.
Vincent: And it’s come a long way in terms of my family and their journey. My parents--it started off as being as being a really negative experience, but when I went to Toronto for my hysterectomy in 2012, they drove me.
Vincent: And it happened to be the same week as Pride.
Vincent: And of course I finally get to go to Toronto Pride for the first time, but I can’t actually go to Pride. But we were staying in a hotel on Church street, and I did manage to make it through the trans march.