it is great being a parent!
while this statement is true at many levels, it shouldn’t be taken to imply that parenthood is without its trials.
my daughter zeeona has brought me no end of expanded awareness on a variety of subjects. as well as moments of absolute frustration.
but i wouldn’t trade a single moment of our time together for all the rice in china.
all in all, raising a transgender daughter doesn’t begin to compare with dealing with the side effects of her autism.
considering the surgeries and hormone treatments in her future concerns me far less than the juvenile polyposis syndrome she has, which necessitates yearly surgeries to remove countless pre=cancerous lesions from the whole of lower intestinal tract.
thinking of her health and well-being in lieu of the brain scarring she suffered at birth, the abnormality of a transfer of genetic material between the third and fourth chromosomes, and the anomalous spiking of electrical activity in her pre-frontal cortex worries me far more than the fact of her gender variant identification.
tell someone your child has autism and they sympathize with you.
inform them of the juvenile polyposis syndrome, and what it is or might mean and people are moved to compassion.
share with someone the fact of the intermittent seizure activity, the slight cerebral palsy that affects pronunciation of some words and has caused weakness and lack of tone in some of her muscles, and people consider our lot unfair and think us brave.
but if you let them know that your child is transgender all bets are off.
seeking to do the right thing for our transgender children is often called, ‘enabling’ them to be ‘mentally ill’. pursuing a course that can actually heal the child’s rift with the physical reality when it includes helping the body to align with the psyche is judged harshly by people.
there are no end of resources and medical practitioners to help zeeona and i maneouver the course of her various other ‘conditions’, and no one is concerned when i pursue the most appropriate treatment for them…they would be concerned did i not!
but when i pursue the appropriate treatment for helping my transgender child achieve wholeness, along with the prejudices of the sociey at large, there are precious few facilities and professionals geared to assisting us, unless we go to boston, seattle, san francisco…
well, you get the idea.
the statistics are daunting as regards transgender folk. if they do not receive the appropriate treatment to knit their outer selves to their inner selves death by suicide, drug addiction and other self destruct behaviours are high.
this is not a phase. it is not a mental illness. it is not a disease pathology. it is a person’s inner self and gender expression betrayed by the physical reality. or maybe for some it is really just a betrayal of their reality by a cis-ist dominant society’s insistence upon a binary gender system.
for every transgender person the way forward is perhaps as varied as are people themselves.
some will be fine with merely knowing they are inside the opposite of what their external bodies appear. some will want to alter their appearance and live as their identified gender to some degree, whether taking it all the way to gender reassignment surgery, or just hormones. some may be satisfied with merely using cosmetics and dress code that society has approved for that gender.
but without a doubt, the most important therapeutical assistance for any transgender person is acceptance of their reality. – by society, family, and friends.
so why doesn’t this happen? why does zeeona get all kinds of understanding for her various other conditions and judgement and loathing for this? why am i lauded as a patient and perserving parent for seeing to her health and well being in every area, except this one?
being a parent is sublime. and it is an honor. it is also a call to advocate on behalf of someone other than one’s self. regardless of previously held beliefs.
and so it goes…
to do the right thing isn’t always the easy path. come to think of it, usually the reverse is true.