a feeling that something is coming.
perhaps only fearfulness that the judgments of others will force my hand as zeeona’s most strident advocate.
recently i shared with my 25 year old daughter the fact of zeeona’s reality
as a transgender young person. a notion that was met with incredulity and alarm, mixed with advice that we should seek help.
we are, of course, doing just that.
but the help we are seeking is how to assist zeeona be the person she is.
how to ensure that she goes through female puberty.
how to enable her to be legally known as female on her various identification documents.
how to empower her to gain the right to simply ‘be’.
the help that was suggested unfortunately proved to reveal a prejudicial attitude that there is something deeply wrong with zeeona.
that she is somehow in need of repair. that we needed to find someone to help her be a boy. get her some kind of ‘therapy’.
of course, zeeona is seeing a counselor. but not to try to bend her sense of self to match her external physique.
in the three years after zeeona told me her ‘secret’, i
sought to downplay the notion. hoped it was a phase that
would work itself out.
brought her to an endocrinologist to check out whether a hormonal imbalance was confusing her.
talked to her geneticist about the effects of the transfer of dna between the third and fourth proximal arms of those chromosomes.
quizzed her neurologist about the abnormal brainwave activity and other anomalies as to whether such things might be behind her gender dysphoria.
in addition i did extensive research. into the most
prestigious of medical journals that broach the subject.
read books written by professionals who are themselves
transgender (transsexual some of them).
sought out others in cyberspace who might help me to put this thing in
meanwhile i refused to let her feel badly about her ideas, but questioned them.
asked her if she felt she must be a girl to wear girl clothes, play with girl things etc.
told her that girl-ness and boy-ness isn’t really about genitals.
shared with her the fact that i was a ‘tomboy’
(as tho that were similar to what she was going through!)
in the end, it took all my strength to wrench my own mind
from the cage society has built, thus freeing my self to
assist this beautiful young girl to become who she is.
in the short time during which zeeona has been living
outloud she has become so much more confident, so much
happier and infinitely more at ease.
she doesn’t feel the need to tell everyone she meets that she is a girl,
because she looks the part and folk assume her gender from that.
she no longer tries to ‘rid herself’ of the ‘spare part’ (as she calls it).
from much of the statistical data that are available,
breaking free of my own ‘programming’ to support zeeona ‘as-is’,
may have the effect of helping her to become whole.
may be the way forward to a life wherein she can love her self
the way she is.
the suicide rate for transgender folk who are rejected by
family and friends is much higher than that for the same
group who receive the loving support of family.
so, what should i do about members of my own family, like
this daughter, who judge and freak out about this?
zeeona doesn’t want to live in secret.
she wants to have the surgery and therapy that will bring her body
around to her mind.
she is no longer ashamed.
so do i protect her from other members of her own family?
or is contact with these people kind of like being exposed, via vaccinations,
to a germ so as to build up an immunity?
i have no answers to my own inquiries.
we simply take each day as it comes and as it is.
hopefully my 25 year old daughter will learn to accept and embrace her younger sister some day. but i fear she will gossip about it to the wrong person, someone who will call the child protection services (as two anonymous callers have) or try to seek legal ways to interfer.
that might be the source of the apprehension.
even tho, both times the cps investigators came out they were impressed
with the way i have responded to zeeona’s reality,
it still feels uncomfortable being scrutinized by those
who are empowered to take children from their homes.
however, i was reassured by the cps that they wont investigate further calls made against us that are because of my allowing zeeona to be the girl she is.
so what is this apprehension?
this sense that the other shoe is about to drop?
maybe just the disturbed psyche of a woman who is about to embark on a cross-country road trip from florida to california, just to attend a conference for transgender kids and their families.
i hope someday that being transgender will raise no more of an eyebrow than does being brunette and blue-eyed. but until then, it’s down to me: to accept, support, advocate and protect her needs.
i call it ASAP, a clever acronym that not only lays out the proper response to these beautiful humans, but also the acceptible time-frame in which to extend them their rights.
a strange word.
i like asap better.