I just now realized that it’s National Coming Out Day. I’ve been mostly head down with work all day today, to the actual date slipped my notice. Also, I’ve been operating under the assumption that today was Monday. However, Jenny Trout publicly disabused me of that notion like a good friend does.
But today is an incredibly special anniversary for our family. Two years ago today, we learned that we have a daughter and a son as opposed to the two sons we thought we had. To say this was a surprise is an understatement. I can truly say none of us saw this coming. However, finding out that information didn’t change one iota of the love I felt for my kid. Nor did it change my husband’s.
Were we worried about her? Absolutely. We worried about people who might seek to harm her because of who she is. But let’s be honest, I’m always going to worry about my kids, my family, my friends–that’s just me. But, still being honest here, I probably will always worry more about my daughter and other LGBTQA people.
But here’s the thing I’d like people to know–this amazing kid is still my amazing kid. She’s as nerdy and sweet and hilarious and loving as she ever was. She’s developed a penchant for thigh-high socks and skinny jeans and baby doll tees. She’s still sarcastic, disdainful of my inability to math, and has to be reminded multiple times to do the dishes. But here’s the biggest, most important thing. And I’m giving it its own line because it’s that important.
She. Is. Happy.
I’ll repeat that just in case I haven’t been clear about how huge this is.
She is happy.
I had put her moodiness down to the sort of ennui you get when there’re still too many college classes to plow through and wondering if changing your major was the right thing to do. Granted, those things weren’t helping, but they weren’t the biggest issue. The biggest issue was that she wasn’t being true to herself.
We’ve been wildly lucky. Our family and friends have rallied behind my daughter in ways I’d hoped for, but didn’t truly anticipate. There is so much love in our lives. In fact, when I told Jen, the very first thing she said to me was, “Congrats! I told you you would have been a great mom to a daughter.” I cried. At that moment, it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard.
Just last week, my beloved aunt called to find out if my daughter would like the Arran knit poncho my gram had made for my aunt back in the 70s. My daughter never got a chance to meet my gram, but now she’ll have something special that my gram made.
There have been so many wonderful moments of acceptance, both large and small, and we’re grateful for all of them.
Since our daughter came out, she has been so much happier, more at peace and truly herself in a way that she wasn’t quite before. In a way that I’m not even sure I can articulate. Some writer, huh?
Here’s my request to you. If you know someone who’s trans, please, please, please use their preferred pronouns. Even if it’s something you’re unfamiliar with. Even if their preferred pronoun is something you feel is grammatically incorrect. It. Is. Not. But it’s not time for an English lesson right now. Just use the right words. Please.
If this person has changed their name, please respect that individual and use the their chosen name. Using their dead name or misgendering them can be hugely triggering. If you screw up, and you likely will, (sometimes I still mess up), apologize, mean it, and try harder.
If this person has shared this with you, this person cares about you enough to want you in their life. Please show them that you want to be there by opening your heart and arms. Unless this person isn’t a hugger. If they’re not, stop that shit right there.
As parents, we don’t think of this as losing a son and gaining a daughter, we look at this as the opportunity and the gift of getting the chance to know our child that much better.
Love is love is love is love is love is love.