I started this blog in 2012. I was a newbie in being the mom of someone transgender. Even with having already survived the first year, I look back recognizing what I have learned and so much to which I have been exposed! This has been a wonderful time of growth which I am now able to cherish. I know YOU will get here, too!
My earliest days were filled with fear! And tons of questions: “What will become of my son?”; “Will he pass as male?”; “Will he ever find love?”; “Will he find a career?”; “Will he be happy and healthy?”; “How will I tell everyone?”; “What if my close friends and family won’t accept him?”; and the ever popular, “Was this my fault and could I have prevented this?”.
It will be 4 years in February since my handsome son revealed himself to me. For those of you moms that are new to this experience, I actually sleep at night now!! Imagine that!! His transition is NOT the last thing I think of before attempting sleep and NOT my first thought in the morning!! I am so thrilled to share the many positive results of his transition!
Our family is secure: We all have wrapped our heads around his transition- all in our own time and each in our own way. He knows whom he feels most secure in going to for support and he definitely has learned there are folks in our family and extended family that he wants to actively continue relationships with and those that he does not pursue: just like the rest of us! When I think of him, I picture who he is. I do not feel as if I am in mourning or loss. I picture the spelling of his new name and have stopped messing up pronouns when speaking about him. My son is my son. Period.
His relationships are successful: Now that he feels happy and secure in himself, he has drawn incredibly wonderful people into his life! Many of his friends and companions are what this 50 year-old broad would consider “alternative” but ALL are loving and amazing! These friendships have grown into a family- young people who are committed in going forward together with great intention and purpose. They include his best friend and her husband and one child with another on the way. No, this family is not what I had pictured for my son- it’s not exactly traditional and not easy to describe. But he has a family that is filled with love and support for one another. Who am I to judge when I see it working better than most of the traditional families I know?! He has learned to be a wonderfully thoughtful person through his relationships which has directly and positively impacted me, his step-dad and sister! He is kind and generous with us in a way he wasn’t able to be before his transition. And yes! I know you are wondering: he HAS found love! He has an beautiful and amazing partner that not only accepts him for who he is, but celebrates and values him, just as he celebrates and values her!
His path is steady: After almost 4 years, my son’s direction in life has changed. He is still involved in reaching out to his community, but now in new ways. This year we celebrated his acceptance to a prestigious law school. Clearly, he is facing a great deal of hard work- but we are thrilled with his willingness to take this on! I know he CAN take this on because he feels complete and in control of his own life!! He feels capable!!
I have gained so much: I now am much more tolerant of folks- from transgender folks, the homeless, to the disenfranchised in my community, I am more open to hearing about folks in need and definitely try my best to listen first and judge less! I try to reach out more in different aspects of my life: with family members, colleagues at work, to my neighbors and friends…I know my son’s transition has created this positive impact on my interactions with others!
As it turns out, witnessing your child’s gender transition or expression can be downright scary. But it CAN be filled with so much joy and growth. Take your time. Be good to yourself. Listen to your child. Embrace the journey!