She turned 9 this week. The turn of the calendar for our daughter is so different than it is for our cis kids, I’m embarrassed to say it. A week after her 5th birthday she came to me, clear out of the blue, and emphatically announced her truth. I cried. I can’t say I was surprised. I cried because I was terrified. For four years we have learned to walk this journey. To hold our heads high and smile in the face of fear, uncertainty and hate. Through it all our daughter has taught us the incredible power of unconditional love and authenticity. She has been graceful when people misgender her (even intentionally), she has forgiven the most overt acts of bigotry and discrimination by adults that make me want to kick and scream.
The last four years we have also found the most incredible tribe. While we were fearful that we would lose friends for allowing our daughter to be who she is (and we did), we have gained more than we could have imagined. We have family across the country that we travel to see who have children who are just like our precious daughter. We have friends and “family” locally who have rallied behind us and believe in love and kindness and understand that gender is an identity and that is a central component of our being, one that cannot be dictated by a doctor by looking at a body part. Gender is not sexuality. Gender is not an assault on religion. Gender is an identity. He/him, she/her, They/them, etc... Her identity shouldn’t matter to you anymore than mine does.
At the end of the day on her 9th birthday I cried. My husband and I were alone. The girls were laughing and bouncing in the bounce house for the eighth hour. They were preparing to stay up all night. The tears were rolling down my cheeks and soon I was sobbing. Chris’s words, “she’s always been C. She just has longer hair now.”
Having a trans child is not an easy path. Dare I say it is not a path that any parent would choose for their child or family. However, I would not trade her for the world. She is one of the kindest, most gracious, loving people I know and I am proud to be her mom.