“We are writing you all because there has been a bit of change going on in our family’s lives this past six months. It is easiest to write this down and have you all hear it directly and in the same manner, then to relay it individually. This is a difficult topic and will be hard for some of you to understand. It is okay, you do not have to understand or agree with it to give unconditional love and support. And you will likely have questions, but we appreciate your not bombarding us, as we too continue to process things. So now on to what has taken place…”
These are the beginning words to a letter that we just sent to our family this past week. I am sure that many of my readers have felt my struggles through this year in my writings. SO many changes have occurred in the last six months. But, as I share with you this biggest of all, I ask for you to follow these words I’ve written my family as well!
“At the end of last year, just after Christmas our youngest came to me. She had been greatly struggling, which was quite evident. After a good deal of prodding, she finally confided in me a great turmoil what could be called an identity crisis. She felt that she was supposed to be a boy. This was all in her words, nothing put in her mouth. Of course, this was a big shock, but not a surprise in some ways. Of course we give her our full support and reassurance at this time. While shedding our own tears and praying in private, we try to reconcile between us what has happened…”
Yes, my youngest (age 14) has come out as a transgender boy to us. And for a conservative, Christian family, this was certainly a blow. Now, before you begin to think the worst of us, I want you to know, we are accepting in every way. But, it has taken time to understand what support looks like. And overcoming a feeling of “loss” for my daughter, the one I had longed for, planned for and held future dreams for. Needing to accept that this life is not mine to fulfill, but must be his to find for himself.
“In the weeks to follow he requests some major changes. Asking that we change all nouns in regards of her to “he” and her name to a male one he’d chosen. Also a boy’s haircut is done and a breast binder is asked for (he had already been wearing a majority of boy’s clothing, always the “Tom boy”)… As the months have passed we have been faced with some heart breaking moments as parents. Our son has seen some very dark moments, as have we. He finally confided that he has been struggling, alone, with these feelings since he was EIGHT! How our pain grew!…”
It has taken some time for the name change and “he” to be consistent, but he’s been patient with us. Also, I have always referred to only having one son, now that is not the case. But, if these were the worst things to overcome, it would be a piece of cake. Unfortunately it has been so much more than that. For him, having a body that he does not feel he should be in is heartbreaking to see. What should be a simple shower now has become a struggle with self acceptance! My hope is, as a family we learn how to come together to be what my son needs. Helping him through this difficult journey that his future holds.
“We have told him that we don’t feel that God makes mistakes, and he has never suggested otherwise. But, if God doesn’t make mistakes, we can only feel that there is a reason for this journey too…”
I will continue in the future with more about our story as a family and the life of transformation. But, for now, I leave you with this. I hope that this touches someone who is going through the same struggle and gives you a ray of hope that you are not alone. Support is so important for all involved. I hope you will reach out or pass this along to anyone you know or you personally, that are going through this life transformation.© by Mac
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi