Archive | May, 2012

Fear vs. Reality

16 May

How nice it is to sit where I am – 18 months after “The Big Reveal “.  That first night, not able to find relief in sleep…and the MANY similar nights thereafter…were in retrospect, unnecessary. Ahhh- hindsight! Where is it when we moms REALLY need it?

 

Those first few months were spent with TOO MUCH time fretting over fear! These were but a “few of the slew”:

 

-Would this REALLY make my child happy?

-Why couldn’t he simply be gay and not have to change his identity?

-How in the hell am I going to tell friends and family?

-Would I even be able to be open with others about this at all?

-How would others react?

-Did  I cause this?

-Would people think I DID cause this?

-Could I have done something/anything to prevent this?

-Would he ultimately be able to “pass” and be safe?

-Would he be loved and appreciated in a new identity?

-Is he going to be alright?

-Who can I turn to?

-Will there ever come a time when I am not thinking about this CONSTANTLY?

-What should I DO?

 

No wonder I didn’t sleep- I was trying to control something I had no control over! I was making this all about ME! True, I hadn’t chosen this journey…so I guess I could have gone to the resentful place. But for me, it was all fear-based.  And once I started to understand that the part that WAS about me – was REALLY about stepping up in the unconditional love department, it was then that I started to be less frightened.

 

Why?

 

Let’s  face it- we are moms first and foremost! We KNOW love! We can DO love! We know what love looks like: it’s getting information so we can help our kid. It’s reaching out and letting them know we are in the wings and we are not leaving- no matter what! Love is “stepping into their shoes” and seeing that they are willing to go through hell because this is THAT important!

 

And now…18 months later, I am  loving my son. I feel honored to have been a witness to such extraordinary courage. I marvel at the joy he has found in his transition. I “see” his new name in my mind’s eye when I think of him. I rarely make pronoun errors. I sleep.

News: Argentina’s New Gender Identity Law

14 May

http://jezebel.com/5909249/argentina-makes-sex+change-surgery-history-with-new-gender-identity-law

“Wow: Argentina just passed an unprecedented “Gender Identity” law that will allow adults seeking sex-change surgery or hormone therapy to get expenses covered under private or public health plans without a stamp of approval from a doctor or judge.

In other countries — such as, ahem, ours — people often have to jump through bureaucratic and medical hoops to actually change their physical bodies before legally changing their gender. Argentines, on the other hand, will be able to change their gender, image and birth name on the basis of their opinion, not anyone else’s.

That’s unheard of,” Katrina Karkazis, a Stanford University medical anthropologist and author of “Fixing Sex,” told the AP. “There’s a whole set of medical criteria that people have to meet to change their gender in the U.S., and meanwhile this gives the individual an extraordinary amount of authority for how they want to live. It’s really incredible.”

Children get the chance to change their genders, too, with approval of their legal guardians. There’s really no part of the law that doesn’t sound completely and utterly rational. President Cristina Fernandez, who became the first Latin American president to legalize gay marriage two years ago, supported the law and is expected to sign it.

“Because the law says people can legally change their identities without having to undergo genital surgery or hormone therapy, these changes can be more benign and even reversible, if some day the person’s self-image changes,” the AP reports. And why shouldn’t they be all that? Your gender identity is no one’s business but your own, and it’s awesome that Argentina agrees.”

Pronouns

9 May

Image

New Book for Mothers of Transgender Children!

8 May

I received my copy (via Amazon) on Friday- and I am loving this collection of mothers sharing their stories of their gender-variant children! It is affirming for me to hear other “transmoms” ask themselves the same questions and struggle with the same concerns. One  mother wrote, “My son is here and now, and I am too.” Ahhh- I believe I am not alone in striving for this extactly- in all portions of my life- to be fully present and appreciative.

So “transmoms”, give yourself a Mother’s Day gift and enjoy reading! We are never alone!

The Early “Daughter ” Years

4 May

Note to reader: My son was born female. I referred to him with female pronouns for the first 23 years of his life. For the last year, I have worked REALLY hard to erase those “qualifiers”. Therefore, I will always use male pronouns when referring to him- even when reporting on the past. And, as always, I will refrain from using our names to protect his anonymity.

 

My son was my firstborn. From the beginning he was intense….I mean the VERY beginning: confining me to the final 10 weeks of pregnancy to a bed rest designed to increase blood flow and growth to his undeveloped belly. After birth- his colic. He was single-minded and walked at 9 months ( what was God thinking?). At two, he refused to hold my hand…we compromised on his holding my clothing. He was scarily intuitive (announcing his sister’s birth in the middle of the night just before we called to announce it). He loved books -passionately. And cars. And a stuffed bear in a pink dress named Baby, that he referred to as, “he”. Then at four -HERE IT COMES!!!!- we had a knock-down, drag-out fight: NO MORE DRESSES!

 

I have always tried to be “open-minded”. I have always wanted to be reasonable. I am a special educator, so I am keenly aware of the importance of nurturing self-esteem and individuality in children. But I was also a mom that was mainstream. I went for what I believed to be downright logical: “There are only a few times in your life when I will MAKE YOU  (really? I said that then?! Ugh!) wear a dress. There are just sometimes when that is socially appropriate and necessary.” Okay, NOW I am gagging at the recalled lecture…to a four year old, no less. But then? I thought I was being really perfect. We strive for perfection, right Moms? Our kids are going to be AMAZING – and WE are the great moms that will see exactly that happens!

 

So he wore a dress to his preschool graduation, and his grandparent’s 50th anniversary party, and his elementary and middle school graduations, and his Bat Mitzvah (kinda forced THAT whole thing on him, too, come to think of it!). The other days were filled with high tops, shorts or jeans paired with t-shirts sporting Batman or tie dye. And then there was the most amazing, blonde, curly, silky long hair…cranked back into a ponytail EVERY SINGLE DAY OF HIS YOUNG LIFE. He was joyful, yet quiet. He excelled in school, but tried to disappear. I look back and think to myself , “Girl, you saw this coming!”