Monday, June 30, 2014
Do you remember the pep rally chant in high school? "We've got spirit, yes we do, we've got spirit, how 'bout you?" I feel like we have a lot of Pride spirit, but I am not sure how to show it. I want to be like those parents who post videos online of their trans* kid showing the world how similar a trans* kid can be to a cis kid. I want to tell everyone I meet (okay, not everyone!) that my daughter is trans* and show them how she is totally normal. I want to break down barriers, open doors, and build a safer world for her and this community.
But...she is little, not quite six. She has no idea that there are people who not only will think she is weird, but will reject her simply because she was born in the wrong body. The other day she asked me why I was giving a book about a trans* kid to a friend. I told her because some people have never heard that some people are born in the wrong body. She was incredulous and asked, "Really?!?!" She has been taught that having a trans* daughter, sister, friend is totally normal. That being trans* is no less normal than someone wearing glasses because their eyes were born not quite developed all the way.
I am so thankful her confidence is not shattered or shuttered by her transgenderism. I am so happy she gets to continue living her life exactly as before only with a new name in new clothes. I am beyond thankful for her innocence. I dread the day she discovers we have been keeping such a dark secret from her that some people think being trans* is wrong, against God, against humanity. This is a life lesson I am hopeful she doesn't experience for many years, when she has identified as trans* for so long and has had so many, many positive experiences that nothing will faze her for long.
I want to take her to a Pride Parade. I want to introduce her to other kids like her. I want her to know she isn't alone. We have talked about meeting other kids like her and she has vacillated between loving the idea and being fine to not add new friends to her dance card right now.
My hesitation with taking her to Pride is I feel like if we make being trans* a big deal then she will start to recognize it, well, it kind of is a big deal in our world. I love that she thinks life has not changed for her or us. I love that she went from being a boy to a boy and a girl to a girl so seamlessly, so smoothly, and so free of angst or sorrow. I do not want to introduce any negativity to her about who she is.
Yet, when we don't go to Pride Parades or when I don't post something fabulous about her in a "Parents of Transgender Kids" group on Facebook, I feel like I am only half an ally. But I don't want to out her anymore than I do already....family, friends, dentist office, doctor office, my work, my husband's work, anyone who asks me, "How are the boys?"...I feel like I out her all the time. And what if she doesn't want to be outed? There are so many people in our lives, either immediately or on the periphery enough that I need to share her gender with, it seems like I do it all the time. And I want it to be her who outs herself. But she doesn't even realize there is anything to out...which is amazing and awesome.
I guess I will continue to educate people, buy books for people, write heartfelt letters about my daughter's transition, and entertain any and all questions because right now that is how I get to be an ally and still protect Kegan.
I want her to own a rainbow flag...but I don't want her to know it is special because of who she is. Not yet, not yet. Is that wrong?