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Happening Tomorrow

17 Sep


Grieving the Loss

18 Nov

I was re-reading a newspaper article that I had hung onto from last July. The author shared her feelings of loss in an Op-Ed piece. Her husband of 13 years had transitioned to female. The author explained that the “weirdness” of her situation didn’t appear to easily dissipate. She said that strangers asked personal questions. While she was grieving the loss of her husband, her former spouse was celebrating a new identity.

We moms of transgender kids often experience the same thing: our children often are thrilled with the actuality of their new found selves. They are “all about them”; the world revolving around all things new and free. Suddenly no longer held captive in a dishonest narrative, many of our children can become…well…”over the top”. Not all, but many may flaunt the new “them”. This hurts us as we try to stand by and support them. Among all their joy, we are missing what we thought was a perfectly wonderful and acceptable previous identity. It’s  hard to take be in the midst of such joy when we alone are grieving and aching.

The writer, Lisa Jaffe Hubbell, shared that we join a club of sorts…”those who have lost husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers in a way that can only be compared to death but isn’t. All we can do is manage the pain, ignore the wide-eyed stares and inconsiderate comments, and hope for grace and serenity.  We are forced to applaud with so many others what it takes to come out as trans, to live an authentic life. But we only know the courage it takes to redraw what gets erased.”

But the pain DOES dissipate. Since it has now been more than four years since I learned of my (now) son’s new identity and transition, I rarely consider my own loss. Instead, when reading or hearing about this very REAL and COMMON experience for the parents and loved ones of transgender children, I stop to measure my own feelings: while I am aware that I no longer experience the pain and grief of the loss of the child I once knew, I instead, recognize where I now find myself on this journey’s continuum:  acceptance and  gratitude.

My son lives two states away, so our visits are rare and always far to brief for this mom! I just saw my son and his family this past weekend. Any angst I felt in leaving were because I long to see him more frequently and leaving means another long stretch without the connection sharing the same physical space can only bring. I left my son knowing (and relishing in this realization!) that he made the right decision to transition! My son is healthy in a way in which I have never before seen- regardless of gender! He takes care of his health and lives an incredibly balanced life: making time for his passion (reading), carving out spiritual time, challenging himself with work, planning joy-filled activities with family and friends; building a relationship with a fabulous partner. He appears very present in his everyday actions and decisions. He inquires earnestly about others and has become an active listener. But most of all, he appears HAPPY! To say I am impressed with the way in which he conducts his life is an understatement! I am so incredibly grateful for his well-being!

So, my dearest mothers, take all the time you need to grieve for your children. My prayer for you is simple: May you find courage to stand in the pain as your support your transitioning child and reap the joy of his or her successes down the road!

A Place in the Middle

10 Nov

What a wonderful short film!! I had no idea that traditional Hawaiian culture not only accepted those that identified with both male and female traits, but embraced these folks as important members of society. This film shares the story of a young student’s identity as a māhū – those who are “in the middle”.

I hope you will take the time to watch and consider!


New Children’s Book!

2 Jan

New Children’s Book!

I hope you will take the opportunity to check out this great children’s book! It is great for ALL kids: trans kids, kids that don’t identify with either gender or any child that identifies with their birth assigned gender!

When children  read stories about children like the main character, Polkadot, they are introduced to the concept that gender identity and gender expression are based upon an individual’s sense of themselves. The goal of this series is that readers that identify with the main character are able to feel more comfortable expressing themselves and gain a feeling of acceptance.  For others that may not necessarily identify with Polkadot, confusion about gender expression is reduced while the reader gains an understanding about gender identity.

A great book!

TransParent Day

20 Nov

A Thanksgiving hug to each of you- May we give thanks for embracing love, respect and understanding in each of our families!

While the TransParent Day has concluded…there ARE several great links you might find of interest and worth checking out!—Transgender-Day-of-Remembrance-Events-.html?soid=1101400738818&aid=pMdZ_tnuQL4

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 Gender Book!

26 Apr

The Gender Book

Click on the link above to read the book online!

Nina Here Nor There

16 Apr

Here is an easy read that you might find as fascinating as I did! I found Nick Kreiger’s memoir to be non-threatening and honest. It was candid  and answered many  questions I didn’t even know to ask. Also helpful was his transitioning as an adult…this was a book I could relate to even though it wasn’t from a parent perspective. When Kreiger shared, “Although I joked grimly to my friends that you’re not really trans until you lose a parent…” it hit hard. My son was not about to lose me!

You can click the book to check it out more.

The First Recommendations

15 Apr

When my son told me he was going to start hormonally transitioning, I e-mailed the GLBT National Help Center and wrote “Hi! My daughter- going to be son- is trans and I need to find a support group with other trans parents as well as a therapist familiar with this issue…do you have links for west Los Angeles or South Bay … Thanks!”

I received an e-mail back with the information for the Los Angeles Gender Center:

Los Angeles Gender Center
1923 1/2 Westwood Boulevard, #2
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: 310-475-8880

On their website I got in touch with a therapist, Susan P. Landon. She is an amazing person! Susan made time for my husband and I to meet with her in a very short time- after work, too.  She shared with us about a monthly parent support group and   recommended the book The Transgender Child.  (see Resources link).  If you are in the LA area, I highly recommend contacting Susan or another counselor at the Center! Attending the monthly parent support group was a key in helping me rid myself of the “aloneness”.

Around that time, I asked my son if he had any additional reading recommendations, and he e-mailed me back:

“Sweet!  Looks good! I do have other recommended reading stuff but I’m running over to a friend’s house, so will have to get back to you on this.  I think The Transgender Child might be an interesting read, but honestly, I think it’s better for parents who have young children, and honestly, though I now identify as trans, I don’t think I was a trans child.  I think I was a genderqueer child.  Two different things. Okay, well, we’ll talk more soon…
love ya!!!!!”

I wrote:  “I see…yea- whenever you get the chance to read something that you feel is a decent “reflection” of you, that would be helpful 🙂  Meanwhile- remember that I love you no matter! The most important to me is you talking me through this and keeping me connected to you- that is all I could ask! Mommy”

Shortly after he wrote back that we could start off with one or two recommendations at a time to avoid overload.  He sent me a link to a website and a link to a book:

Hudson’s FTM Resource Guide

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano

A Handbook for Parents

15 Apr

This was the book our therapist recommended.  It’s a great start.  I found helpful suggestions when my husband and I were trying to figure out how best to disclose the changes in our family.  Click on the book below to order from Amazon.