Sunday, December 6, 2015

Not the Life I Set Out to Have

Welcome to my first post!   I'm going to be vulnerable, honest and not politically correct here - hoping my raw emotions and thoughts will help other parents know their feelings are normal.

For years, I would joke that we will have succeeded as parents provided neither kid ended up addicted to drugs or pregnant.  Pretty simple, right?   That's what I thought...

A little over 2 years ago, TN, my 13 yr old daughter, told me she was a lesbian.  (I'll use "TN" instead of my kid's real name - the anonymity of this blog helps me to honest which should help some other parents out there going through the same journey.)  The news wasn't a shocker because she was dressing more masculine, wanted a boy's haircut, etc.  I told her that we love her no matter what she is.  End of story.  It was fairly uneventful.   

2 weeks after that, TN told me that she was actually not a lesbian.  She was actually a boy and wanted to be my son and not my daughter.  She told me she was transgender and was really a boy.

Now, my own mom taught me by example to love and accept your kid no matter what they say or do.  I have her to thank for my being able to respond calmly and reiterate that we loved TN and will be there to help and support with everything in life.  This was totally new territory for us.  Honestly, I knew what transgender was (at the most basic level) but really didn't understand or know much about it; I feared my kid would be viewed as a freak.  

On the outside, I was very calm.  On the inside, I was confused, questioning, wondering who to talk to, what to ask,  and what to do or not do for my kid.
  • Will my kid get bullied?
  • How will she ever date normally?
  • Is she mentally ill?
  • Did she not understand that she could be a girl and not be girly?
  • What will my friends think, especially my Christian friends?
  • What will my family think?
  • Will this start impacting her grades?
  • How does a transgender person go to college and live in a dorm?
  • Will she ever have a normal career?
  • Will she struggle getting quality jobs?
  • Can a good therapist fix her?
  • And lots of other questions..........

Fortunately, I quit my job just a few weeks prior and was taking a few months off work.  I had the time to find a therapist, do research, and find resources.  Also fortunately, I have the world's most awesome BFF (who happens to also be the world's most awesome therapist) in whom I could confide and get support.   She also happens to be pretty darn liberal so the whole transgender thing wasn't a new or shocking topic for her.

My next steps were to find a good therapist and educate myself.

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