We are not a family breakfast kind of family. Most weekends we do our own thing. Since we are on a schedule all week long, when the weekend comes no one wants to commit to a wake up time or a group breakfast. There are, however, a couple of exceptions. Birthdays, mother’s day and father’s day are family breakfast outings. We have our favorite place; the kids know that we are committed and typically there are no complaints about getting up…in fact, I think they actually look forward to it.
Mother’s Day 2013 — we are seated at the Breakfast Club, stomachs rumbling, saliva forming as we ponder the yummy, drool inspiring offerings. Our server comes to our table, pen and pad in hand; one by one we place our order. Just an ordinary family out for an out-of-the-ordinary breakfast together.
Finally, our food is delivered — piping hot, aromas wafting, deliciousness waiting to be devoured. Oops. Olivia’s food hasn’t come. We call over our server and she says, “I’m so sorry. What did he order?”
“She ordered waffles and bacon.”
Did you catch that? I know it took me a long time to get to this point in the story. Now remember, this happened a year ago. Hunter didn’t exist yet — at least not in his current state of being. Olivia was still very much Olivia to us and we were still using female pronouns.
Naturally, as a FTM trans guy, Olivia was thrilled to be “mistaken” for a guy. I was indignant. And, in complete denial. This was my daughter. I was just getting used to shopping in the boys’ department. I was definitely not ready to use male pronouns.
If you had told me a year ago that in a year’s time I would be calling my younger child, Hunter, using male pronouns and correcting others when they call him “Olivia,” I would’ve said NO WAY. No question, I was in denial.
You are not alone. There are many among us who live their lives “in the closet” with secrets. Those secrets cause pain, self loathing and embarrassment. Its no wonder that the suicide rate is so high. But the truth is, you are not alone. What makes you different, is the courage to share your secret and learn to love yourself as you truly are and not as others believe you should be.
I remember a time when many people lived in the closet! Back in highschool, we knew who those people where, frequently before THEY knew. Often its not a surprize when someone “comes out”. It is truly sad when a 50 year old man, married with 3 kids finally admits that he is Gay and has been, his whole life! Imagine how his wife and children feel?
Flash forward to 2014 when there are groups where people can lead Open and Authentic lives. I saw these kids in highschool, the forensic prize winners, openly gay, the winners of scholarships and math awards, openly gay, female and male athletes participating in sports, openly gay! Transgender students on the Homecoming court, “Queens” running for homecoming king, (and winning) capturing the most votes!!! Kids who are popular and well liked and secure in themselves… living authentic lives.
Last week, I sat at graduation with several hundred parents when one of the brightest, most talented, beloved kids in the class “came out” I was not shocked nor was I surprised. He received a large round of applause which I am sure, made him feel strong and supported. With that being said, You are not alone… We are all here, rooting and praying for you, your happiness, good health, good luck-good life.
continue to strive to love yourself as you are and as you wish to be.
When I was in high school about a decade ago, transgenderism was barely on the radar. So, naturally, everybody, even me, thought I was “butch” or “visually queer”. Yes, you saw the occasional “trans woman” on tv, a hooker the victim of a murder, but no one thought of trans men.