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.