The Big Reveal

24 Apr

A Note Before You Read-

Prior to the experience related below, my son had explained to us that he was genderqueer.  Therefore, I reference him with gender neutral pronouns (ie they, their) in the story below.

Both of my children live out of state…my daughter lives a couple of hours north of my eldest.  It was in February 2010 and I was on a trip to visit them both and a spot equidistant between them.  When my eldest showed up to pick up their sister and me from the hotel, I noticed THE CHANGE immediately. My inner voice was saying, “Uh oh!”  :

Hair-the shortest ever worn to date-and a different, much more boyish style.

And the chest…I know my baby’s chest. THAT was not a C cup chest. That was NO chest.

I tried to keep the inner fear at bay.  I remember making a comment that I didn’t get why  their keys were hanging from a belt loop on one of those C-clip type key rings – never worn before that way. A sudden desire to look like a janitor? Now in retrospect,  I  commented about it in a  disapproving tone. (Nice touch since this  was the first time I was seeing our child after several months).  I asked if shopping was something we could do during this visit and my eldest said they didn’t need anything. Panic.

We moms DO know everything. We sense it. But we don’t listen to our inner voices nearly enough. It’s not as if my eldest hadn’t been building to this new look. Or as if I wasn’t clued-in prior. I had received countless pictures from my eldest in the months prior via e-mail- and in those pictures, they actually WERE sporting this new chest. However, I DIDN’T SEE IT! Or take the previous August. We had just returned from a family vacation with my husband, the younger daughter, the eldest and- the boyfriend!!! (this is the part where I need to digress and explain that the eldest had previously explained that they were queer and even though we had been told this, I had decided to live instead in “LA LA Land” and believe this was a heterosexual relationship!!!). After that vacation, we were informed that the eldest was changing their name from a female spelling of a unisex name to the male spelling. AND STILL I WAS IN DENIAL!!! HELLLOOOO??

Back to the February trip: after dinner, the three of us are cozied-up on a hotel bed chatting (like three girls would do, right?) and the eldest reveals there is something important to share: my eldest is Trans. And they have been living as a male and is being referred to by male pronouns and it would be appreciated if we could do the same. This is important….HIM.

I cry.

I explain that I am crying because of the loss of MY dream…that I understand it is my dream alone- it is what moms do when their babies are born. Moms have a plan…and this wasn’t my plan. I explain I am crying because for 23 years I have related to them as a woman to another female and I am losing this. My eldest is more than generous. My eldest states, “I know you will have your own process around this.” I explain that even though I am crying, I only want my eldest to know that they are loved no matter what.


8 Responses to “The Big Reveal”

  1. maddox May 2, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    This is a wonderful story from a loving parent’s perspective – very honest and emotional. It seems despite your initial concerns, you are very supportive of your son, and we need more voices like yours.

    • transmom May 14, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

      Thank you! The more I focus on the love, the easier the journey becomes!

  2. Julie M. May 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    You’re a great writer! I can relate to this very easily. My son is almost 14. I’m still trying to let go of the dream. It’s the biological grandchildren thing that is my sticking point. I really want him to harvest some eggs, before taking hormones, but I hear that it may be cost preventative. Sometimes I feel very selfish.

    • transmom May 11, 2012 at 3:26 am #

      Thanks for your kind words!

      I want to encourage you and other moms to follow you instincts!! There is another mom in our Transforming Parenting group that is in the midst of having her child go to a sperm bank before beginning female hormones. These kids are soooo thrilled with the just the concept of being able to feel whole and complete that -no matter their age- they can’t think that far down the road to consider such important life decisions!

      This is exactly why we are their moms!! Please check into harvesting eggs. My son found someone to pay for his name change…who knows…maybe there is someone out there to assist with this?? Worth a try!! Keep us posted!!

      Hugs to you- this ain’t easy!!!

    • Marie December 31, 2017 at 7:19 am #

      I “feel” ya! Our son SAID he would look into harvesting some sperm before he started to transition & I was trying to help him find a place & said that we would even pay, but he lied and was already taking the hormones, moved out of state & now is looking into SRS, so that ship has not only sailed, but also been torpedoed & has sunk into the abyss that has become his life. I have lost both of my parents in a relatively short time & THIS is way harder than either of those losses. You guys have an attitude I have not found yet. Best of everything to you.

      • transmom December 31, 2017 at 11:30 pm #

        You have gone through so much! It sounds like you haven’t given up on finding peace about your (now) daughter’s decisions, however, it sounds as if you are leaving open that possibility. Good for you!

        One of the hardest things for me, Marie, was being able to REALLY accept that MY values and what I saw important (like having his own babies) wasn’t what was important in his life. I had a hard time at first learning to let go and realize those were all of MY dreams and MY expectations. That ship that sailed???…maybe MY cargo of hopes and dreams for my kid were tossed overboard- but my kid’s life was NEVER torpedoed or sunken! My kid is SO ALIVE AND HAPPY AND PRODUCTIVE as he NEVER was before! This has NOT been easy getting to this place, Marie, but I can tell you 100%, I am a better parent and a better person for my son’s transition!

        I hope that 2018 brings you peace and acceptance along this challenging path. I send you strength and resolve as you move ahead with love and greater understanding!

      • Marie January 1, 2018 at 2:31 am #

        Thank you for your kind words & yes, in my early morning, sleep deprived craziness, you said what I meant. e.g. MY hopes & dreams not him (her) torpedoed, etc. This is only exacerbated by the fact that I had a “5 year” pregnancy & labor waiting for this person to become “ours” – he is adopted. Additionally, I am in that phase of life when “all our friends'” adult children are getting married & having babies of their own. Many of my girlfriends are grandmothers. Yes, all of this is “all about me” & I KNOW it is really all about his/her journey, but it is a loss to be sure. I have serious grandma “envy” – it feels like infertility all over again! Very messy – lotsa emotions, but again, thanks for listening & encouraging those of us just starting on this path. Best to you in 2018 as well.

      • transmom January 2, 2018 at 9:50 pm #

        I can imagine your deep feelings of loss, Marie! Infertility is such a difficult and painful journey in itself and it sets up couples to REALLY become invested in the dreams surrounding the baby…whether finally conceived or adopted! A dear friend (after many years of trying to conceive and then adopting) has a son who has Autism. It is such an emotional struggle for she and her husband! This is not what they had planned and find themselves feeling disappointed- and then guilty that they have those feelings!! We need to allow ourselves to feel what we feel- it’s part of the moving-on process!!!

        The good news is, that you are aware that there is good reason why you have built up these expectations! You can address those feelings when you know from where they emanate. (I personally recommend therapy because I have found such support through the process!)

        I, too, am surrounded with friends who are in heaven being grandmothers, so I have had to “reimagine” that piece for me. My son has an unbelievable “chosen family” that includes his best (a female) friend of 10 years, her husband and their children and his girlfriend and other friends and their kids. All of those children call me, “Grandma” and I get my “kid fix” this way. I also tutor and volunteer in an elementary classroom in my retirement. No, none of these kids are blood-related, but the connections of the heart are REAL and satisfying!!

        I encourage you to work toward that space of alternatives so that you, too, can find peace and a different kind of contentment!! My best to you!

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