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 […]

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 […]

Guidance

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I’ve been trying to schedule a meeting with the administration of E’s Middle School all summer.  Scheduling something with 5 or 6 school administrators over the summer has proven to be a challenging task.  Still, I need to talk to them.  I knew that they had been at the staff training at Concord back in February, so they were educated and on board.  I had seen them at different events from time to time and I could tell they were well aware of E, knew me, and were eager to support us.  Yet as the start of school approaches, I […]

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 […]

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, […]