i’m grieving the death of my son.
if i didn’t have sjogren’s
tears would no doubt be flowing down my cheeks
he didn’t die
rather i just realized that he was never my son.
he has decided and i have finally woken up to the fac.
that she is my daughter.
societal attitudes and prejudice aside, it is still a difficult thing
to realize that in order for my child to be whole and happy, she needs to be other than the gender that her body has suggested.
looking back there were clues long before the fateful day when at three and a half years of age she discovered that the penis wasn’t going away. that she would not grow up to be a girl.
the pain of this realization brought months worth of depression, self-loathing and attempts to get rid of the penis on her own.
luckily the sharpest things in reach at the time were plastic scissors from a doctor kit, and a play butter knife from a kitchen set.
she even begged me to ‘cut it off’ for her, but i told her that cutting off the penis wouldn’t make her a girl…only make her bleed.
in the mind of a child that age a mommie can do just about anything! so she was sure i could remove the thing safely and then she’d be a girl.
i did what i imagine most parents would do in this situation.
i called a doctor.
the pediatrician we have is a most compassionate and caring woman. when i told her about the issue with which we were dealing, she suggested a couple of first steps.
she did what i imagine most doctors would do when faced with these ‘symptoms’.
she sent us to a specialist.
the specialist was an endocrinologist. the idea was that if the child had too many of the other gender’s hormones floating around it might make the child feel like that gender…i guess.
the endocrinologist said everything was within normal limits, whatever that might mean. then suggested that this was a common phase in children that age and that perhaps along with the autism my child also has, the feelings were just a bit more intense. he warned me against bringing a therapist in on the matter and told me to steer this little one to gender appropriate clothing, toys and activities.
four years later, it is not a phase.
this is who she is!
after long hours of research on the matter, i have learned much about what my child, my little girl has been going through. and the new knowledge has made me regret following the advice of the endocrinologist and others who offered their opinions about how to proceed.
in my defense it must be noted, that much of my reluctance to believe has to do with the hard road ahead of a transgendered person in our society.
now my child wears the dresses we shop for, the beautiful swimsuits, and little girl brassieres and panties. she is happy to be referred to with the proper female pronoun, and in solidarity with her, i have cut my hair very short.
we’ve decided to have a hair growing race to see who can grow it to their butt the quickest.
i guess i’m not really so much in mourning anymore these days.
i have learned to forgive myself for trying to change her.
and have begun to celebrate the girl she is rather than lament either the boy who is no more, the one who never was, or the future realities of what being a transgender girl will mean for her.
she is strong.
i am too!
together we will meet tomorrow’s challenges
and be part of changing the world for people like her.