2014 has proven to be a most interesting year for this blogger. I actually want to start off by sharing with you some of the major changes that occurred in my personal life.
Many of you know me well and follow my myriad of activities on Facebook but you may not have put this all together.
In 2014, the higher power decided that I still have much to learn. In the midst of the major debate at City Hall regarding the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, I was facing a personal struggle at home.
Last spring, my child informed me that the wrong gender had been assisgned at birth. My child is 13 so I initially did not take the conversation very seriously. In fact, I just kind of ignored the idea. This could not possibly happen to my precious miracle from heaven.
In all honesty, it was not that I oppose transgender people or any people with differences. I accept people at face value. But motherly instinct took hold and in the quiet of night, I feared what this could mean for my precious child. All I could think about was the hard path that we would travel and the fear grew greater each day.
Being my child, of course she would not let go of the discussion. She kept discussing, teaching and explaining to me. Some days it was hard to tell the parent from the child.
Finally, between one of my Dad’s hospital stays (9 this year), I sat down and began doing my own research as any educated person should. It did not take me long to learn how dangerous it could be for transgender kids if they are not accepted.
I love my child more than anything on planet Earth. Having my child in my life is more important than any possible challenges we could face. The suicide rates among transgender people range as high as 40+ percent and when it narrows down to transgender teens, it is even higher. In most cases, suicide is a result of lack of acceptance. Finally, I was whacked over the head by one of my favorite things – data.
It was the turning point. I reached out to several resources and placed my child with the proper professionals. Did you know that we have adolescent transgender pediatricians in Houston? I sure didn’t and there are many other amazing resources in our city. Thank goodness we live in Houston.
By mid-summer, my child began presenting as female. We met with her school and a number of friends were made aware. It took me a while to begin sharing the news. I kept it very close until mid-fall. I gradually began telling people.
This is a life-long journey we have embarked on together. I have so much to learn. I’m happy to share with you much of what I have learned so far if you have questions.
I know there are many people in our community who do not accept differences easily. Probably one of the most surprising things I have learned is that even those who have fought for equality over the years, have not been as accepting as I would have thought. I have had people walk away from me. I also hear the mutterings of “bad parenting”. I’m not bothered as it just shows how little they know.
This is what I know. I love my child unconditionally. Maybe sometimes “unconditionally” can be pushed to the limits but that is our way of growing and expanding our own minds. I accept my child as who she is and who she wants to be in the future. I have also learned that my child is very brave and courageous to admit who she is and share it with the world. My heart bursts with pride.
I’m also proud of our family and friends who have embraced her and surrounded her with love and acceptance.
Now, I say goodbye for 2014 and look forward to experiencing 2015 with my daughter. She’ll start high school this year. We’re looking forward to new adventures.