My estranged daughter whom I hadn't spoken to in Ten years and due to my mother's sudden death at the beginning of a custody battle I lost to the family with money and a Judge in their pocket. They've told her, her entire life I never even wanted her when nothing's further from the truth. The other day she agrees to talk to me a second time only NOW she's an Atheist who practices witchcraft and she's not my daughter but my SON. Then a week later I call and use her preferred name. She says, "What?" Then starts playing like she can't hear me. I start texting and she calls me. I was so happy. I told her I didn't want to harass her but I will be calling ever Friday between 7 and 8 like the Judge suggested and told her that's it, I love you, so good to hear you...talk next week if that's ok? She said yes. I'm so confused. I know I have to go slow and see what she really wants but this is killing me. Should I do anything else? Tell her/him anything else?
I personally know people who have switched genders, and going trans is certainly not out of the ordinary. Its also possible that when he made like he couldn't hear you that something was distracting his attention, such as activity from someone else...or it could have been a connection problem
Its hard to say without reading the nuances of the situation, but often times when things are emotionally charged as they certainly are in this meeting for you, it can be an overflow of information. Coupled with the (likely) fact that you are anxious about how he / she will respond to you, that may heighten tendencies for interpreting the situation in a negative way
I would say make judgements about how he feels about interacting with you based more on long term interactions rather than only one or two interactions, and certainly just being genuine might gradually undo any notions he / she got from other family about you
You don't give many details, so it's not easy to answer your question, but I got with "should I do anything else?"
You haven't explained why you don't trust your child. From all I can read, your child is sincere, so I would suggest, to believe your child and act accordingly. See that as an investment into your relationship. In detail this means:
- Respect your child's beliefs. It's OK to ask questions (like "how can you be an atheist and practise witchcraft, I thought witchcraft as some kind of religion as well?"), but don't be judgemental, but curious. Try to learn and show that you try to learn. Children don't have to have the same religious beliefs as their parents, that's OK; show that you are OK with it.
- If your child says they are transgender and your son, then he is your son. Which means: Only use your son's chosen name and he/him pronouns; not only when you talk with your son, but also when you talk about him. And even when you talk about the time before your son's coming out. It's really about basic respect. Being trans isn't being "confused", but more like being left-handed: The brain works in a perfectly healthy way, but different from the majority. The brain structures are male in a body that society historically labelled as a female body. I suggest you change the question accordingly.
- Ask and tell. You want to get to know your son better, but don't only ask questions and talk about his life, but talk about yourself as well. The goal is that you learn to know each other better than before.
- Take it slow. Your son doesn't know you very much. That takes time. That's OK.