October 13, 2015

Reality Bites

Today I heard my child say something disturbing.  Although it was said with her best overly-dramatic Valley girl voice, the words hit me like a ton of bricks, illuminating one of my biggest fears.

While talking with T, she told me, "If I had to be a boy I would totally kill myself."

She's 5.

"I would kill myself."

Like I said, she is 5 going on 15 and her flair for melodramatic statements knows no bounds most days but the grim reality of how many trans, gay and lesbian youth who see suicide as a solution stopped me in my tracks.

"Well, good thing you are a girl then," I told her, "Killing yourself is never OK. Mommy, Daddy and your sisters love you way to much to ever live without you."  Then I finished dishing up lunch and sat down to eat with my kiddos.

Before I knew it, we were wrapped up in fighting over who got which color cup and who got to sit next to Mommy and the moment had passed.   However, the haunting feeling I had from knowing too much and reading too much stuck to me.  It hurt like a punch in my guts, leaving me to decide whether I wanted to cry, scream or run-away, none of which are options for a fierce mama raising fierce children.

I've heard different stats relating to transgender youth suicide attempts.  Anywhere between 30 and 50 percent of transgender people will attempt suicide.  HALF.  That's INSANE and a stat that I have a hard time even wrapping my brain around.

Of course the risk decreases with familial and social acceptance, something I hope is in no short supply around here but what about the kids that don't have that.  How can I help them?

Simple, by telling our story.  By making people realize that this is OK.  It's healthy and natural and part of life, part of society. People are people. We are people.  We are a family.  We all breath the same air, sleep each day and wake each morning.  Hopefully in our waking moments we all share, connect, and live.  But more importantly hopefully we all LOVE...like a lot.  That's not saying that I don't spend some of my waking moments thinking that some people are just assholes, plain and simple. That happens too.  (People can be real assholes)  However, I know that when I look back at all my days, the good will overwhelmingly outshine any of the bad.

Because I am "only" one mom. (Notice the quotes...I am a firm believer that mom=super-powered bad-ass some days)  I decided to share an article I read this morning by another gender mom.

She educates and articulately answers questions that parents of gender creative and trans kids get daily.  Education equals power equals understanding equals change.  Real change.  Change that hopefully involves dropping those ugly stats from 50% to less than 1%.

Please read.  Please share, because this is real.  We are real.  She is real and THAT is important to know.


October 8, 2015


I wrote this post back in March. (but never got around to publishing it) Not gonna lie, this spring was tough for us.  The reality of what it meant to parent our transgender or gender fluid daughter hit us like a ton of bricks.  It hit ME like a ton of bricks.  I cried a lot, meditated a lot and distracted myself with booze, yard projects, and netflix.  Perhaps not the healthiest of way of coping but the idea of becoming an advocate, a real source of learning and understanding, scared the crap out of me.

I was tired- tired of worrying that I couldn't do or be enough, tired of explaining ourselves,  tired of defending ourselves and tired of explaining my child.

Then it hit me..I didn't need to do anything.  Our love and individuality can stand on their own and explain themselves. Hopefully being authentic will be enough to do some real change in the world. It's interesting to see even my own transformation while I am on this parenting journey, not only in regards to parenting a trans child but in my approach to parenting in general.  I am realizing that majority of parenting is not knowing what the fuck you are doing.  It's a general state of cluelessness, sprinkled with  "Let's pretend we're real adults" and "I really hope we aren't messing up too badly."

So without further ado, here are my thoughts on Tanna's "coming out."

March 2015

After my post last year on Tanner's gender creativy, I was overwhelmed by positive support and reactions.

Thank you for showing me the world doesn't suck!!

Since then, I have to admit, I've spun down a complete path of parental cluelessness/helplessness. I know that I look like I know what I'm doing. Hell, some of you even compliment me on it, but the truth is that I'm lost. We are lost. 

Tanner is now Tanna. He/him/his is now She/her/hers. With that comes the realization that the pre-conceived notions of gender-normative identification are strongly ingrained in even our most open of minds.

It's a mind warp, trapped in a World Wide Web of scary stats on violence, bigotry and bullying of transgender people.  It's infuriating, confusing and terrifying.    Then there are the YouTube videos of trans success stories which leave me in an emotional puddle of hopeful tears.  (until you read the comments...NEVER read the comments)

It's a blur of research and questions, and answering those questions.

No, we don't force her to be one way over another.

Yes, she really cries when she thinks about being a boy.

No, I can't just "make" her where boy clothes.

Yes, we talk about it.

No, I'm not sure what the next steps are.

Yes, it's real.

No, we're not naive.

Yes, it's hard.

But as hard or confusing or scary it is. It's a million times more EASY.

It's easy to offer my unconditional love. It's easy to watch my child thrive.
It's easy watching my child develop a strong, healthy sense of self and a wonderful self-esteem to accompany that.
It's easy to grow a stronger and stronger bond with our daughters each day. 

True, unconditional love is easy. 

I will love you because of everything you are. I will love you in spite of anything you may do.

I will love you. Simple as that.

So as I struggle with my cluelessness on where to go next, and with my helplessness to protect my family from the ugly part of the world, I find solace in LOVE.

In the love I share with my husband I find strength.

In the love I share with my mom and my sister I find understanding.

In the love I share with my friends I find humor.

I the love I share with my children I find warmth.

Love is a great place to be, a safe place to be.

So I think I'll hide out her in that space of love; wrap myself in it, protect myself with it and then go forward, 
even if I have no clue what the hell I'm doing. 

October 2, 2015

First Day- October 2015

(A wall of mixers with Lake Superior in the background...seriously 😍😍😍)
We need a selfie stick!!