Huh ? I had no idea what had sparked that thought, but for my own reasons I wasn’t comfortable with it and I decided to head the conversation back to motorsport. “I guess that’s not so uncommon with French names “ I said. “But, you know, Ron, the beauty of that race was that, although Gilles and Rene weren’t very close friends, each knew he could absolutely trust the other not to do anything stupid or vindictive. They couldn’t have raced like that otherwise. You’d understand that from your time in karts.”
If I thought I had successfully deflected whatever was in my son’s mind I was wrong.
Ron spoke again, but very hesitantly. “Dad, remember when I was small you’d sometimes call me Ronnie?” “Yeah” I replied, mystified as to where this was going. “Dad,” he went on, now sounding quite choked up, “there’s something I have to tell you. And Mum and Chris when they get back.” Another pause while he seemed to be taking a deep breath. “Dad, there was a girl in grade school called Veronica, except she was always called Ronnie. And when you used to call me Ronnie I really liked that because”, and there was a very long pause, “because I’d pretend that when you were talking to me I was a girl. I’d pretend I was called Veronica. Because I wanted to be a girl.” Another long pause, with him looking at me intensely. “Dad, that was a long time ago, but that desire has never, ever, gone away. In fact it’s now the most important thing in my life, even more important than my music. Dad, I want to be a woman. In fact,” he said, close to tears now, “I’ve already started the process of becoming Veronica.” And he stopped, obviously fearful of the reaction that would come.