Getting Comfortable

17 Jun
It has been 16 months since my beloved eldest told me he was transgender. Lo and behold! I AM getting to feel more and more comfortable with myself. I use the correct pronouns without concentration (okay, there are those occasional flubs…gimme a break…I am working on 23 years of habitual “she’s”). I no longer feel a sweat breaking when sharing this information with someone. Of course, I am always asking myself, “Is this a person who really NEEDS to know?”
I do not want to “out” my son just as a matter of conversation!! After all, there continues to be and always will be, a need for his anonymity. But there are times when people do need to know- usually for me, those are folks that knew my son when he was a child- long before his transition. They loved her then and I am confidant they will love him now. So, sometimes, I share about my son. After all, I am a proud Jewish mama…how can I not share about my kid?!
Last evening, I had several women over. They are active members with me in a group that meets monthly. We were celebrating our Board’s installation of new officers. There are so few of us active enough that are willing to do the group’s planning and executing of events that it is more of a celebration of “changing hats”. I mention this to describe that after six years, these are women I know well. The very closest among these friends DO know about my son’s recent transition. However, two other women that did not know about him happen to be sitting with us for dinner. One of those women knew my son in high school- as a girl. We had  each had two daughters the same ages in common at that time. Across the table she asked, “So, how are your girls?” The friends “in the know” whipped their heads around to me in unison. I smiled.
“Well, actually,” I replied, “I have one son and one daughter now. ___ transitioned and is now male.” I smile again. She emits a little gasp, eyebrows raised with eyes opened wide.
A knowing friend on my left says with a big smile, “He’s great!”
Now there’s another gal at the table- several years my senior- that says she finds this interesting. She shoots off a couple of questions: How old was he when he told us? Did we know before he told us? And then she begins to tell her tale: her son didn’t feel comfortable about telling she and her husband that he is gay until his late twenties. “It just was so hard to do back then,” she shared. Now all eyes are riveted on this woman in her late sixties who had never shared about her son with anyone in this group until now. One could sense that this wasn’t something she had the opportunity to connect around often. She told us that she had finally learned that she was proud of her son. He was married and she said, most importantly, happy. She stressed again that happiness was what was really important. The mothers of straight, gay and transgender agreed.
I am happy I shared with such confidence about my son. It gave this woman the chance to be open, to connect. I was happy that I conveyed pride in my son’s ability to be honest with who he is. And I am happy that others know that I stand with him.
The Dalai Lama stated, “It is worth remembering that the time of greatest gain and inner strength is often that of the greatest difficulty.”
“Transmoms”…go with your hearts. In love.

4 Responses to “Getting Comfortable”

  1. Sue January 26, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    I’m new to this and your blogs are helping me. My former daughter told us 4 months ago at age 15 that he was a boy. It’s been hard to understand since he was never a tom boy and seemed like a fairly traditional girl although was not interested in makeup or fussing with hair,etc. Overall, it is confusing to me since what does being a girl really mean these days? Girls can have any career pretty much, can wear makeup or not, etc.

    I support my sons choice and call him by his new name, buy boy clothes etc but still do not understand. If you have any suggestions of reading or support groups, I would appreciate it. I’m not sure if my son needs a therapist to talk to? I probably do!:). In any event, I appreciate you sharing your stories. I hope I can meet someone like you in Chicago. Thank you again for your writing

    • transmom January 31, 2014 at 5:03 am #

      Hi Sue! I applaud your support for your son during such a confusing time for you! What a loving mom you are!! There are more and more great groups of parents…sometimes it just takes some visiting and “trying on” of these groups to find the right fit…but once you do, I assure you, you will find such relief in talking to other parents-especially moms- that have experienced what you are feeling now!! Keep looking!!
      Books I read early on included, “Transitions of the Heart” stories from other moms like us; “Nina Here Nor There”- actually heard the author in person as well- very frank memoir about a transitioning woman in her twenties, and “The Transgender Child”, a handbook for parents. Each gave me different perspectives and just helped me more knowledgeable in general. Your son will appreciate your taking the time to understand him!!
      I love that you are reaching out and making such a terrific effort!!! Yay you! Your son is blessed to have you for his mom!

      • Sue January 31, 2014 at 5:29 am #

        Thank you for your kind words! I’ll get the books and once it’s not Siberia here, I’ll look for a parents group.

      • transmom February 10, 2014 at 5:35 am #

        Hope the cold and snow end for you soon!! What a winter for you!! I forgot to mention that I also found great comfort in a fabulous therapist…she specialized in this area and gave me terrific perspective! Like: Gee- I thought my children’s lives and choices were MY doing! Who knew?!!
        Be well and warm!

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