Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A change in direction

Hello readers and supporters,

I want to first start this post with a big thank you to all of you who have come along this journey with me as I grew as a mother to my daughter, Trinity. Bein gthe parent of a transgender child can be difficult at times, but also so very rewarding. Our children, whether they be gay, straight, trans, or somewhere in between are still our children and it is our purpose to love them unconditionally. My daughter taught our whole family the meaning of courage and bravery. Of living true to herself rather than conform to what society thinks she should be. As her mother, I had to make a choice on how I would embrace her. I could have disowned her, treated her as an outcast or abomination. In my ethnic culture, not all, but many, that would have been seen as the right thing to do. However, I chose other. I chose love. I chose acceptance.

As a person of color and parent to a transgender child, she and I are both extreme minorities. The rate of discrimination is even higher among trans people of color and acceptance within their families are exceptionally low. This shouldn't be a case. As a Black woman and mother, I know my ancestor's history. When we had our children snatched from us to be sold off. When we suffered through beatings and humility at the hands of others. We still struggle as a class in the country and still lose our children to violence at a higher rate than other groups. Family is all we tend to have and yet, we are quick to push them away if they are not what we were hoping of them. Why is this? Gender and sexual identity are not for us to pick and choose and assign. However, it is for us to accept and love. I refused to turn my back on my child when she came out to me because what message would that send her? You're only good to me when you're not transgender. That's the message. Yes, perhaps this is easier for me because I am not a Christian woman, but from what I recall from my many times in Sunday school is that love is the answer. Not judgement.

This world is already going to be a crapfest for my children. As young, black members growing up in a still high racially divided country, family, their parents are going to need to be their foundation so they can stand strong against adversity. My transgender daughter, no wait...my DAUGHTER knows not to fear because we got her back. We're family.

I'm going to end this post and hope you'll all join my upcoming blog where I write our journey in story format (I am an author, you know) at http://blackorchidfieldofthorns.blogspot.com/ and maybe even share this post and this blog before it's gone.

My final words to everyone is love has no racial ties. Everyone has the ability to do it. Don't allow race or culture or religion keep you from opening your heart to anyone. Gender or sexuality does not change a person's soul. Don't let hate and bigotry destroy yours.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

A lesson in pride: Body Edition

Before I had children, I said to myself, "I'll never have kids." When I met my husband, somehow this guy convinced me that I wanted children but I said, "I don't want any girls. Nope. None!" This was a mantra I kept, even when I became pregnant with my first born. You can imagine now, how thrilled I was when I found out I was having a boy.




Try and understand. No expensive clothes. No trying to do ethnic hair! No feminine cycle craziness! Did I mention that no doing ethnic hair?

Man, was I stoked. So you can imagine, 4 1/2 years later and suddenly having a daughter, how much changed for me. I wasn't too sad. I guess I kind of always knew, but something did happen. To me. And my way of looking at my body. Suddenly I had a daughter and I cared more about how I looked more than ever.

Somewhere I became lost in gender stereotypes and vanity. With each baby, my body was changed and I became a harsher critic of my looks. Suddenly, I complained more about my small rolls and stretch marks and I did it, in front of my daughter. Not realizing what burden I was putting upon her young shoulders.


Here I was, telling her she was beautiful just the way she was only to have her hear me say how fat and disgusting I was. A confusion for sure. She looks at me, her mother, to be her lesson in pride. Pride in herself, inside and out. I was letting her down.

This was a big deal. Why, you ask? It's hard enough when the world gives girls (and boys) a body image that may be unattainable due to genetics and lack of plastic surgery resources, but when your child is transgender or on the gender spectrum, there is already that awareness they aren't like a cisgender* person.

Constant criticism of a parent's body, the person who they model most of their behaviors from, get their life lessons from, can ultimately increase the risk of severe body dysphoria. So what can I do about it? What can we, parents, do about making sure we make the lesson in pride a positive one for our offspring?

Make a vow.  As hard as it may be, because we know the bombarding images and views on what's hot and what's not can't be quelled outside our lives, but make that vow to say no to damaging ideologies and love your body. Love your heart, your soul. Love YOU.


See that sign? No more. Love yourself. Have pride in YOU. Our children are watching us with their little eyes. Capturing everything even though we don't think they are. I'm doing this more now. I'm a beautiful person and so is my daughter.

Inside and out.



*cisgender=denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

7 Things Not to Say to a Parent of a Transgender Child

Hello all! It's been a LONG time since I've posted here. We've been busy, living a normal busy life. Trinity is in her last year as a kid. She'll be 13 next year! Can't believe it. So far, we haven't needed to start blockers, but she does go back in September to see if it's time. Overall, everything has been pretty low key. So that's the update or lack thereof!

What this post is going to be about is the news all over. More and more now we're seeing kids and their supportive families coming out, celebrities. It's truly amazing. Sadly, where there is awareness to change, there are the comments. You know what I mean. Here are seven of the statements that one should really not say to the parent of a transgender child.

7. You know, I wanted to be a dog when I was a kid. 
Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You know, this one is quite funny to me. I've heard it or read it somewhere so many times, I've come to the point that I can't even try to argue it. Let's get this straight, being a dog or "pretending to be a dog" when you were a kid isn't the same as gender. I'm certain, if you were told, "No Johnny or Samantha, you're not a dog", you didn't think about suicide and I'm very sure you weren't disowned or kicked out of your home because you "identified" as a domestic animal.

6. What your son/daughter needs is more mommy/daddy time.

Now, I won't disagree with this. Kids do need to have that special time with their parents. I mean, many studies shows this to be true. However, to say the only way to help a child who has a difference of gender identity is to place them with the parent of their birth assigned gender is just strange. Because, everyone knows, when mom/son or dad/daughter combos occur, those kids are destined to want to be the same gender as that parent. That's exactly how all of this works.


5. You're just letting the child have all the control in the parent/child relationship.


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
There are many things we control in our kids' lives. Making sure the stay safe, hygiene, education. However, there are certain areas of a child's life that can not be controlled and gender identity is one of them. Gender identity isn't set at birth. In fact, it develops over time and is secured by age 4 (HealthyChildren.org). So if you have a parent with a transgender child, there's a good chance they didn't control that kid's gender identity and vice versa. This is simply the child and that's what needs to be accepted.

4. Your child is just seeking attention.

No. Just no. A transgender child or teen already knows that life is difficult. I mean think about it, there are bedtimes, schoolwork, and that moment when you're into a cool part of your game and your battery dies! Crap, didn't save progress! That's the worse. Then, you add to that coming out as transgender. The bullying, loss of friends, and in some cases, loss of family and loved ones. Why would anyone, let alone a kid come out at all, knowing what could come from it, for the sake of attention? Seriously.

3. You're pushing your agenda on your son/daughter. 

Because, like number 4 being on the child, for number 3, a parent totally wants to make sure their child has a life filled with ignorant people, misgendering, bullying, and loss of those they care about. Yup. That's exactly what a parent wants. Push those agendas, parents!


2. I know gay people. 

Well, all I have to say to that is....

Really though, being gay is a person's sexual identity. Meaning who they are attracted to in a romantic way. Gender identity is the gender in which a person identifies whether it match their birth assigned gender or not. If you honestly believe a child, who have no inkling of sexuality in general is gay, that's a problem. Seek out a dictionary. 


And last, but not least.....

1. A child can't possibly know what gender they are. 

Uhhhh....Yeah, I got nothing for this one. Just ask yourself, when you knew. If you know that answer, then there you have it. 


So there you have it. 7 things, that I could think of, that you really shouldn't say to a parent of a transgender child. I'm sure there are more that I didn't even begin to touch on. Know any? Leave a comment! I'd love it. Thanks for reading!