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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

You Can Play

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Both of my kids play a lot of ice hockey.   If any of you reading this have kids who play hockey, you will know what that means. From the end of August until the beginning of March, we cannot make a reasonable plan to do anything else. And even after that, it’s sketchy. It’s a long, demanding schedule and it’s taken on for a reason. Most kids I know who play hockey are full-blown in love with it. It’s a disease, a religion. E is an ice hockey goalie. This is an added dimension of crazy to an already insane […]

Learning (or The Dangerous Words of Michelle Duggar)

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I have a confession. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time lately thinking about Michelle Duggar. I can’t believe I’m saying it but there it is. Michelle Duggar has been weighing me down. I’ve started and stopped writing posts about her for weeks now. In all different formats. A general rant. An open letter. Even a Letterman style top ten list.   I can’t seem to get it right and she just keeps swimming around in my mind. It all started many weeks ago when I read about a robocall that she did urging the residents of Fayetteville Arkansas to […]