Gender identity Stories

Our child

We knew from a young age that our child was different. He preferred to play with girls, he didn’t like contact sport “cos it hurt” and was very gentle, sensitive and deep.

When our child received help from the wonderful health nurse at her school, it was a godsend. Finally she could express what it was that she was feeling and questions about why she felt the way she did were being answered…and it was OK. The really cool thing too was that mum and dad could get an explanation for the nail polish, the makeup and the need to have a hairstyle that wasn’t a boy cut.

I was hurt, confused and had so many questions in my head I thought it would explode. Why? Was it something we did when our child was growing up? Was it because I drank alcohol? Could I have been a better mother and helped, why didn’t I know about this medical condition and why didn’t I know more about transgender people?

When I look back over the past 15 months, it is easy see that some issues could have been dealt with better or I may have created an issue when there was not a need for one. I kept allot of my hurt and resentment inside. I didn’t want our child to know that I was upset that I wouldn’t have grandchildren, that the road ahead of us had been foretold as one of grief and allot of pain and I felt angry that we were going to go through heaps of different stuff.

In reality I needed to share some of my pain with my child, it would help me to deal with the anger and be honest and it certainly would have helped her understand why suddenly her mum was hell bent on finding a solution to this dilemma.

After getting some help from Open Doors and reading about a mother, who on her own dealt with finding out her child was transgender, I realized that we were not the only family to have a transgender child and families coped and the children grew up and lived the life they were meant to live and they were happy. I wanted to do right by my child, I wanted to be able to protect and provide all the answers for what was happening and then in another way I wanted it all to go away so that our family could be “normal” and we wouldn’t have to deal with any of this transgender stuff.

I know the journey for our child has only begun, the learning and growing that we have experienced has enriched our lives and I believe made us better people. The support and comfort we have received from PFLAG, AGENDER and Open Doors has been overwhelming and I am so thankful for the wonderful people that we have met through these organizations. We have supportive and loving family and while they are still learning and behaving sometimes in ways that push boundaries, this is all new to them as well, sometimes I forget that!

Friends can sometimes push the boundaries too and I am learning that I need to be able to assertive and honestly tell them, when they are being hurtful or when we feel they have misunderstood something, more so, when what they are asking is really none of their business.

When we named our child it was because the name was special in the family but also because it meant, “gift from god”. Even though the name of our child has changed, she still is our gift from god and the love we felt the day she was born is stronger and more poignant than ever.