When I first learned that I was the parent of a transgender child, I was shell shocked. We both were. We didn’t see it coming. Sure we saw differences, but we simply accepted them as they were.
It took time to re-contextualise those differences in our minds. It took time to unlearn the fixed nature of associations between assigned gender and gender identity. To allow our minds to soften and become pliable enough to learn about a different way of being.
You think you are an open-minded, inclusive being, but when, initially, it feels like you are losing a part of yourself; well, grief can make us act in ways we wouldn’t normally.
But as our minds opened, to catch up with our hearts, we couldn’t help but apply the same thinking to ourselves.
We realised we too were living ‘assigned lives’. The lives our gender roles prescribed. The lives that ‘people like us’ should live. We realised we were also kind of failing at it, and it was making us miserable.
It has been six years since the day our beautiful daughter introduced her self to us. Since then her father and I have walked through fire, fallen apart, and fallen in love all over again. Her sibling has shed the gender roles assigned to them and forges a new path for their self. We have become distant from people who’s friendship couldn’t extend as far as we’ve grown. We are alienated from extended family who are waiting for us to be ‘fixed’…
As a family, we no longer ‘mainstream’. And we are no longer miserable.
Coming from a place of love opens us, to new perspectives, new experiences, new understandings and insights
Being the parent of transgender children is one of the best things that has happened in my life. For me, there have been no greater lessons thus far, than those learned on this journey of transition and transformation.
We are lucky, our family has chosen to embrace change.
We learned how to break apart and come back together in new ways.
We learned what it means to love each other unconditionally.
We learned that our family is strong when we come from a place of love.
There are cis women (those who identify with their assigned gender) who claim their voices are not being heard, who feel threatened by transgender women.
I am also a cis woman who’s voice is not being heard. The mother of transgender children. A mother who’s heart has been broken more than once by the cruelty of today’s society. A mother who has had to convince her child that life is worth living, that they are worthy of love, that they are loved. A mother who watches as society debates, who’s in and who’s out? A mother who wonders if this is all simply a distraction, another attempt to divide and conquer? While people bicker about the sex organs of children, those in power continue to undermine our freedom.
It is a dangerous, slippery slope. The more ‘anti’ something we are, the more likely we are to agree to regulate the thing, the more open were are to rules and regulations, the more heavily regulated we allow ourselves to become…we slip willingly, yet unknowingly, under authoritarian regime. The transgender issue is simply the latest issue to be used to fuel the fire of extremism.
We remain largely a primitive species, our behaviour so often driven by fear. We are also social animals, we follow trends, we adhere to norms, so if half the pack feels threatened, chances are the rest of the pack is going to be agitated too. We are also ‘cognitive misers’, we’re busy, we rarely take the time to stop and deeply consider an issue for ourselves before forming an opinion, we instead rely on ‘trusted’ sources. But with so much misleading misinformation so widely disseminated now… I am always interested to learn who is susceptible. Who’s mind is easily programmed, easily infiltrated and influenced.
There is no love in the messages from anyone who is ‘anti’ anything, only fear, and possibly hate.
As a mother, I hold on to hope and bear love as a shield. Hope that unconditional love is stronger than all the ‘anti’ sentiment in the world. Hope that people remember they are stronger together than divided. Hope that inclusive, collective action will lead us all home.
Peace be with you.
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