My father is the first to cry.
She may be in a woman's clothing, but my mother handles things in a downright masculine way. She can't suppress her roots completely. Her face is red, her jaw is clenched. She tries to fool the eye every other day.
But today, she's breaking her feminine composure. Yesterday, she was my second dad. Two wardrobes. Prosthetics. Make-up. She likes to keep things interesting. Once again, she's my dad.
A fist hits the arm rest. Anger. Resentment.
Monica's hand is tighter still, but now it trembles in mine.
My father is crying. It's the full-blown waterworks. It's the opposite of what we see beside him. He too is lettings his roots show. He had a sex change operation not long after he gave birth to me.
"Wh-why c-can't y-you be more like y-your sis-s-ster?" he sobs.
"I'm no different," I argue. "If she can love another woman, why can't I?"
"Like a good girl," my mother says, struggling to maintain her falsetto, "She's in love with one of her own."
"P-please," Monica stutters, "I should go."
"Yes, you should!"
"No!" I object. "Either you accept us as we are, or we leave together."
Dad sobs, "You can't be serious, Andrew."
I'm staring them down, looking from Dad to Mom to Dad to Mom.
I can feel her sweat in my palm, waterworks of a different kind. I love everyone in this room. Tears haze my sight. My heart feels clenched into a knot. Now they know why I've been so upset lately.
Silence fills the room. Tension rises. It needs to broken.