Dear President Obama

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Dear President Obama, I’m writing today to thank you. Nearly two years ago, my youngest son socially transitioned to claim the male identity he always understood as his. As his parents, my husband and I worried about what his friends might think, what their families might think. We hoped that he wouldn’t lose anyone that he loved. We thought about how he would be treated, if he would be safe. If you have talked to other families like ours, you know difficult and stressful it is. We were also brave. We stood upon a steady foundation that made us surefooted. We thought that if anyone […]

Lucky

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I feel very, very lucky. My family has its challenges – perhaps more than most.   But honestly, most of the time I walk around in a state of happiness that we’ve got it so good. It could be so different. We’ve got the ultimately uber-important basics: a roof over our head, food on our table, general good health, jobs. But we also have a family of four – three of which absolutely support the littlest one, who is transgender. Our extended families support him too. We do not live in fear of some family member discovering a secret. We do […]

Jumping the Waves

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Raising a transgender kid is a lot like jumping the ocean waves. Most of the time, it’s an experience of extreme joy and happiness. You rise up and float down and it’s all a blast. There are those moments when you turn your back, bear the impact and then let the laughter explode as those waves unfold behind you and you realize you are still swimming. It thrilling and connected to the world in way that feels big and important. It is, in the true sense of the word, awesome. And then sometimes you get taken under and you can’t […]

Sifting

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E needed blood work. It was absolutely not what he wanted to do on his day off, but we had to get it done. I had made an appointment at a lab. I had to warn him. “Remember, the insurance card still has your old name. The insurance company has that information. So, at the lab they will call us into the room using your old name. The papers will have the wrong name on it. But you know who you are. And everyone that matters in your world knows who you are. I know it stinks, but it’s what […]

Gender Conference East

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For anyone interested, this conference promises to be educational and supportive.  It’s November 13-14 in Baltimore, MD. The 13th is a professional day and Saturday the 14th is a day of programming for families and for kids.  It’s an opportunity to gain some information on medical, legal, school-related, and emotional issues, just to name a few, from some of the leaders in the field. It will also be nice to meet other families with gender non-conforming and trans kids.  Book soon, it seems to be filling up quickly. GENDER CONFERENCE EAST      

The Older Brother

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My older son, S, is approaching seventeen years old. Through this whole process with E, I’ve always had S in mind. S was fourteen when E first verbalized his claim that he was a boy. I thought, this is not the kind of attention a teenager wants on his family. When a child is gender non-conforming or transgender, it affects every member of the family. In a way, we all transitioned. S is a solid, intact kid with a very clear sense of self. He keeps his emotions close and is not one to do a lot of sharing about […]

Allies

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I was lucky enough to attend the “Ally Meeting” of friends of ours recently. Their child had decided to transition and they were gathering a group of friends, to help them learn and understand and feel comfortable. It was so beautiful and supportive – a room filled with moms and educators. Some were a bit nervous and but all were openly wanting to be there for this family. It reminded me of the Ally Meeting we had when E transitioned. Every kid is different. Every transition has it’s own flavor and flow. Every family has their own comfort levels around […]

Capital Letter Issues

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The alarm in the middle school was blasting. I couldn’t even walk in the door, it was so unbearably loud. I waited outside until it was over. I was hoping it wasn’t a bad omen. Today was the day of my Big Meeting and I felt I needed all the luck I could get. We gathered together in the principal’s office. I knew the Capital Letter Issues on the agenda:  E’s Name on his Records, the Bathroom, and the Locker Room. These are hot button issues for all parents of trans kids. So far, the middle school had professed to […]

Green Day

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Last summer, E went to a camp called School of Rock where he played the drums. Once, during a break, the counselors broke out into Green Day’s “Jesus of Suburbia.”   When E came home that day, the first thing he told me as he hopped in the car was that he was the only camper who knew that song.  In fact, he knew the whole thing. All 9 minutes of it. He played along and knew every word. I was picturing his little self behind a big drum kit, surrounded by all those teenagers in their ratty t-shirts and skinny […]

Caitlyn Jenner

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I remember the 1976 Montreal Olympics. I remember so much about that year: our country’s bicentennial. There were special quarters minted. Dorothy Hamill won gold in the Winter Olympics, prompting me and countless other girls to get that unfortunate haircut that seemed to work for Dorothy alone. On July 4th, my family went to New York City to witness the spectacular and majestic Parade of Ships as part of Operation Sail on the Hudson River. I remember that year because it was our country’s big birthday. I was just a young kid and it was exciting and special. The amazing […]