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 […]

Fear

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I had a visit with some old friends yesterday. Two amazing women who I haven’t seen in many years. It was so great to see them and catch up on their lives. I was also sharing mine, telling them about E. At one point in our conversation, I said that E knows her options – the many ways to be a girl, the openness of who she can love as a girl or a boy, the possibility of her being a boy. One of the women, who is gay, said that she thought that was great. As a child, she felt […]

Summer Break

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I took a break. I didn’t plan to, but as the summer wore on I found myself avoiding my blog. Sometimes I felt guilty – if I want to reach more people, I should be writing more. I know that to be true. But I just wanted some time to not think about things. To just be. When I left off on the very first day of July, I was wondering about the landmines of E’s life. Mostly our summer was landmine-free. She was with me most of the time, at our town pool, enjoying the majesty of the mountains […]

The Small Stuff That is Actually Big Stuff

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I love summer.   I love having the kids around more. I love that there is (almost) no homework. I love the escape from the daily grind of school and carpooling and sports. I love being outside. This year, I decided not to book too many camps for E. She is turning 10 soon and those double digits loom large. I want to keep her near me this summer, while I can. Her 15 year old brother is working, working out, and out and about much of the time – as he should be – so I know what’s coming. This […]

The Middle Place

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When E first started talking to me about stretching the boundaries of her gender, I spent a lot of time wondering. I wondered if she would be a gay woman. (Oh, please please please, make it be that she is “just” gay.) I wondered if she would live her life as a male. I wondered if she would be one of those stunning women who wear their hair short and slicked. They wear ties all the time and usually have a knowing smile and very bright eyes. I was comfortable with gender boxes, as most of us are, and I […]

The Concert

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When I sent the email to E’s Music Teacher, I copied E’s principal.  She has been a fabulous support of E and once again, she did not disappoint.  She responded right away, saying that she is E’s student as well.  It took the Music Teacher a little longer to respond.  I’m sure she was processing it, gathering her thoughts and also trying to manage my copying her boss. But soon enough her response came.  She put the issue at hand to bed right away – she would let E do what the boys are doing.   She also decided to offer […]

Dear E’s Music Teacher

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Dear E’s Music Teacher, I understand that E’s class is singing a song in the upcoming concert entitled “Who’s A Lady?” My understanding is that the girls alone stand and do motions that are considered typically “girlie.” I would like to respectfully request that E be allowed to sit with the boys during this song. As you may or may not be aware, there are some people that don’t fit neatly into the male/female gender binary. There are hundreds of thousands of children and adults who do not comfortably identify with the gender that they were assigned at birth. We consider […]

Our First Casualty

I guess I figured it would happen eventually. I’m pretty optimistic in general, but I’m not foolish. I knew that not everyone we know would follow us down the rainbow brick road. And it seems we’ve had our first casualty. One of E’s very first friends is a girl she met in a pre-school art class. I will call her Donna, although that is not her name. At the time, they appeared very similar – they were the smallest ones in the class, two teeny, giggling, adorable kids. They were fast friends. I became friendly with her mom and a […]

The Puberty Movie

The other day it arrived in E’s backpack. The letter about the puberty movie. E is in fourth grade and in her school, that’s when they start showing the kids short films about puberty. Here’s how it works: they separate the boys and girls, show the movies and have a short instructional and question and answer period. I had been anticipating this for some time and I figured this wasn’t going to fly with E. Since we live in a world where most people live as either male or female, I’ll share with you that currently, E is called “she” […]