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Thanksgiving. A time to be near those you love and be thankful for the blessings that abound. In our family we are grateful for the love and acceptance of our friends and family who have wrapped their arms around us, even when they don’t understand the journey. They have been open and willing to learn outside of the binary.

Today we are painfully aware of those in the transgender community who have been ostracized by their family, who do not have a home to go to and those who have been victimized by domestic violence or lost their lives. We recognize those who have been turned out onto the streets without means to live, before their time. They do not have healthcare, dental care, live in their high schools to finish school. We see you. You are seen. You are important.

In our family we are grateful for the friends and family who have not loved and accepted our authenticity. Because they have shown us who they truly are. We have found a community who loves us, no because we conform to a religious standard or social norm, but because they see the beauty in the complexity of each human that walks on this planet.

This Thanksgiving I am grateful for the school who has welcomed my child, who has requested that I start a diversity board and seeks to understand us were we are, without expectation of conforming to their expectations. I am grateful that we have the means to be able to move away from the school district where my child was forced to go to the bathroom in the nurse’s office, where the nurse continuously misgendered my child. Where my child sat on the handicap potty seat and soiled her pants and shoes and while urine soaked was referred to as a boy- this woman NEVER NEW MY CHILD AS MALE. Where the gym teacher forced them to line up in the line that did not conform to their gender identity. I am ever thankful for the abundance in our lives but am starkly aware of those children who are in families who lack the means to move out of the district, to extricate their child from the system.

I am thankful that we are raising four children who will never know the limits of authenticity. From the time they were born we have accepted and loved each of them for who they are. Dyslexic, compliant, wiggly, transgender, social, quiet, introvert, anxious, tenderhearted. Today I pray for the children and adults who are living according to the expectations of the home of their natal birth. I pray that their homes be open and welcoming of their authentic selves. If they are or were not, I pray that they can find hope and healing in the fact that there are those among us who understand. We have not walked in your shoes. We cannot comprehend the struggle, strife and pain of rejection. It is harmful. They shouldn’t have. It is not your fault. It is THEIR PROBLEM.

In the words of Steven Charleston: “Set the prisoners free, great Spirit, set all the prisoners free, all of us who are imprisoned, by our secrets or our sorrow, by our bodies or our minds, by our grief or our illness, imprisoned by the fear of others, by prejudice or injustice, by being who we were born to be, but cannot be, by relationships or mistakes, imprisoned by old memories or new anxieties, by a hurt we cannot heal, by a dream we cannot have, come and set all the prisoners free, all of us, set us free, do what we cannot do, throw wide the gates and let us run free, if only for now, if only for a while, if only forever.”

For each of you. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to you. You will always be welcome at our table. You are unique and beautiful just the way you are.

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