How to Socially Transition (If You Are E)

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The other day, I received a call from a mom I know from our support group. She called to ask for some advice. They were planning their child’s social transition and she wanted to ask me about E’s. She knew that E’s transition went well and she wanted to know what we did to make it work out so well. Of course, there is no answer for that, and there is a very long answer. Both. Every kid is unique, every family, every school, every community – completely individual and unpredictable pieces of a puzzle. What might work for one […]

Trans*forming The Dialogue: Questions

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I am participating in Trans*forming the Dialogue, Simmons College’s Online MSW Program’s campaign to promote an educational conversation about the transgender community. By participating in this campaign, I will be offering my perspective on what TO ask and what NOT to ask trans*people. In thinking about this question – what is ok to ask trans people and what is not – the first thought that comes to mind is that I need to clarify something. I am a parent of a trans child; I am not a trans person. That is a specific perspective and I can’t pretend to speak […]

Transitions

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Two weeks ago, my mother died. She lived near us and was a huge part of my family’s day to day life. My children adored her. To say that she adored them would be an understatement. She was the only person on the planet who wanted to talk about my kids more than I did. She was their Nana. She was everything you would imagine a good and loving Nana to be. She managed her 5 ½ year battle with cancer with amazing strength. She worked until 2 weeks before she died. She was independent and brave. She had 5 […]

The. Absolute. Perfect. Name.

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My husband picked it on the day I found out I was pregnant. Still, we had considered others. How about Ivy? Millie? Lucy? Daisy? So many hours of this speculation. Trying them on with the middle and last name that we knew. Laughing at funny combinations. Wondering what nicknames could follow. Putting it together with my older son’s name, knowing how often they’d be said together. All of those names were good, but none were The. Absolute. Perfect. Name. The one he stated on day one was it. There was no doubt. It is everywhere. It’s on the growth chart that hangs […]

Checking

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Ever since E told me that she is a boy in our very first bathtub talk, she has maintained her “don’t tell anyone” stance. She knew I would tell her dad, my husband, but beyond that, the door was locked.   Her sense of herself as a trans person was always something that she wanted to keep just there, with herself. A few months ago, she began to express her fear. The fear of people thinking she is weird. The fear of losing her friends. I have always tried to comfort her at these times, reassure her. She always just listens, […]

Life As Me

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E is in fifth grade, so in our school district, that means that next year she will go to middle school. A kid like E can’t just go off to a new school without some prep. So I met with her current principal and school counselor to start the conversation about what E needs in her new school. Let me say a few words about the administration at E’s school. The principal is a woman who is everything you want a principal to be. She is a leader, a mother, a person of compassion and good sense. When she talks […]

The Haircut

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E needed a haircut. This is another dicey little part of life with a gender expansive kid: the hair. When she was younger, I took her to my amazing hairdresser for haircuts. But E really didn’t want to go to this very feminine, beautiful salon. So I drew upon my years-dormant skills of cutting hair. When I was in college, I made a few bucks cutting boys hair in my dorm. I had no idea what I was doing, but I seemed to make it work out. For the past few years, I’ve cut her hair.   Her hairstyle has been […]

A 10 STEP GUIDE TO SURVIVING YOUR CHILD TELLING YOU THEY ARE A BOY (or a GIRL – whatever you have been thinking all along that they aren’t.)

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1. It is bone crushingly hard, at first. When your child first tells you, your head will spin, your heart will ache and you will feel overwhelmed. You will realize that you have absolutely no idea what to do. You will feel a tsunami of responsibility. You will be scared out of your mind for them.  Know you are not alone in this and that it will ease. 2. There may or may not be a lot of crying on your part. There was for me. I did it in the shower and put on a brave face for my […]

I Really Wanted To Go

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I really wanted to go. As much as she didn’t want to go, I did. There is something very special about this group. It’s hard for me to find the words to describe what it’s like to sit among them. We are all at different points in our stories. Some have been in the group for years and are real friends now, often going out for dinner afterwards. Their children are in a different place than E as well, many on hormone blockers, some on cross hormones. They share their experiences with their doctors, their insurance companies, their school administrators. […]

She Really Didn’t Want To Go

She didn’t want to go. I mean, she really didn’t want to go. Our next support group was approaching and E was strongly expressing that she DIDN’T WANT TO GO. There were lots of reasons, some real (I don’t feel good) and some not real (it’s stupid.) Some superficial (it’s FRIDAY NIGHT and I want to see my friends) some profound (I don’t want to talk about myself.) The way she was upset was that scary way she gets. It falls into the category of big upset I don’t want to talk about myself. I know you don’t; it’s ok. […]