Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Rose By Any Other Name

Why Kegan and Sean? As my profile shows, my kids names in real life are different than on this blog. I am constantly conflicted as to how public to be with raising a transgender child and how to protect said child's identity and safety.

I hope to be as honest and raw as possible on this blog. But this is not only my story. This is my husband's story, my transgender child's story (especially!), and our youngest son's story. Is it even fair for me to be here? Do I have a right, parental or otherwise, to be so open? But do I have an obligation to all the other members of Kegan's LGBTQ community to be bold enough to tell our story so it gets normalized?

I am so hopeful and have such a strong belief that if this community and its allies are honest, loving, and strive to educate the world, we will see more acceptance in Kegan's lifetime. I have to hope for that, because otherwise my heart is crushed when I read crime stats against transgender people. My heart hurts when I read stories about victims being blamed for the actions of their bullies. My being aches with fear and sorrow when I read what a tough road my child is on.

If I tell Kegan's story maybe it will help another family to know they are not alone. Maybe it will help a bigot to see underneath all this focus on gender we are just a regular, boring family with two kids who like to run, jump, sing songs, and be silly.  Maybe it will shine a light in the dark corners of a heart and let a child be allowed to come home to his/her parents. And if all that fails, Kegan will at least know I tried my best to make the world safer and more loving for him/her. Kegan will have a journal to show I did everything with love, even my failures were meant to be loving.

Back to the original question. Why Kegan? Kegan is a gender-neutral Irish name that means bright shining flame. This child has been light to us since the day she/he was born. Kegan is now lighting the way to be true to himself/herself. Kegan is lighting the way for other transgender kids to be true to their own identities as well. Kegan is a beacon of light and hope in our society.

Why Sean? Sean is also Irish, typically used for males and means God is gracious.  Sean is our planned-for bonus from God. We didn't know if we would be able to have another baby and Sean was given to us purely by the grace of God. So this seemed a fitting code name.

Their names don't really matter, the names are just placeholders so the story can be read. What matters is the story and I hope as we live our story it is true to Kegan's being.

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The more we educate and have open dialogue, the safer our world becomes. Please share your thoughts, be honest, be brave, be kind. I can't wait to hear what you think!