So I’ve mentioned before that I have an LGBT kid and that I’m fiercely protective and supportive, even to the point of questioning my religious faith over it. And now I can finally talk more openly.
My oldest child was born male. From the time he was 5, I knew there was something different about him. At 15, he told me he felt he should have been born female. It was kind of an open secret in our house: he looked female and started undergoing medical transition, but wasn’t yet open to going by a preferred female name or changing pronouns.
Now she has completely come out of the closet to all of us in our household and will make it legal within a couple months. My child now goes by Amelia Elise, what would have been her name had she been born biologically female, or Amy for short.
So many good things have happened in her life in the past year since she started the medical transition. It really stepped up around the time my husband was diagnosed with cancer. In her words, at that time she decided to “full YOLO it” because she realized life is just too short.
She’s been in therapy for months, which has been really great for her. She specifically sought out a therapist with certifications in dealing with transgender issues, apparently only one of three such counselors in the whole Dallas area with this specific training.
Amy has a boyfriend who makes her really happy. They are a really great match and share a lot of interests. She’s out doing social things all weekend and sometimes during the week. She has friends who know her only as Amy and fully support her as such. She’s truly blossoming and it does my heart so much good to see it.
When we first moved down here to Texas, she was so miserable. She talked for years about wanting to move back to Michigan. She was isolated and very depressed, keeping herself from meeting friends or dating. She still had her Michigan phone number and her bank account in Michigan. She was very much not allowing herself to adapt or to like anything here.
And now that she’s embracing who she really is and is moving in that direction, suddenly all that is changing. She doesn’t intend on moving back to Michigan anymore. She now says she’s only waiting to move out of our house until my husband finishes chemo.
Most importantly, she’s finally happy. As a mother, that’s the best thing you can ask for. She plans to finally get a Texas phone number and bank account once her legal documents reflect the appropriate gender, which will be in a couple months. She wants to essentially get rid of all the ties that remind her of Michigan because she thinks of that as an unhappy time of her life, compared to how things are now.
All along, I just wanted her to adapt to where she was (or to move back to Michigan) and just to be happy with herself. She had some turbulent years but it’s such a relief to see that she’s trying to put them behind her.
My husband and I have known about her plans to transition for quite some time. She knew she had our support and in some sense, we wondered why she was taking so long to change pronouns and embrace her new name. But we knew it had to be on her own timetable for when she felt comfortable with it and ready.
I already know that my parents are going to be supportive. (As Amy put it, maybe even obnoxiously supportive.) I suspect my mother-in-law may take longer to adjust and may make inappropriate jokes to deal with her discomfort about it. But I suspect that in the long run, she’ll come around, too.
My sister-in-law is super Christian but of the non-judgmental way of trying to truly follow Jesus. I suspect she’ll ultimately be accepting as well, even if she doesn’t understand it.
My sister is the only one in either of our families who I suspect may not be supportive. My sister tends to be really judgmental and to believe you can control how kids turn out, so if anything, it may give her more reason to judge me negatively. But who knows, maybe she’ll surprise me. I don’t talk to her much either way, so it doesn’t really matter.
As for me, I think the hardest part may be adjusting to using a different name and pronouns for Amy. After all, I knew her as male for 21 years. But I still absolutely accept her either way.
And as always, I will go to the mat for her. If it comes down to it, I will fight anyone who tries to discriminate against her. I will defend her right to be fully herself. And if I have to lose any close relationships over it, it doesn’t matter. My support for her comes first. Seeing that she’s finally happy is the greatest thing that’s happened in my life in quite some time.