What Do You Say?

The distance between making it “better” and finding “acceptance” is short. The ability to find one’s way on this road less travelled often is a journey akin to climbing earth’s highest peaks.

A year ago, I wanted to make it “better.” I am not sure I knew how nor even where to begin. The task ahead of us hadn’t yet been mapped. The footprints of those before us left a faint trail delivering dead ends and hope interchangeably.

What do you say when your beautiful daughter tells you that she wants to be a boy? In fact, that she is a boy. That even though “I have boobs and a vagina, I am male.” What do you say when your long-haired, hazel-eyed barely 14 year old teen holds a steady gaze and says, “I want to get ‘T’ – I’ve done the research and I need therapy first. So, how soon can we start?” For those uninitiated, “T” is testosterone — a necessary hormone for FTM transition. (FTM=female to male) Did you know that the suicide rate is above 40% for transgender individuals? That’s about 34% above the general population. Did you know that trans teens are at greater risk for self-harm, getting involved with drugs and ending up on the street?

The path to acceptance becomes clearer. We are navigating tumultuous, uncharted territory with the help of some incredibly smart, compassionate pioneers who had the foresight to embrace differences; the insight to understand that we are not all the same. Lucky for us, for our son, for those yet to be born, great strides on this journey are being made.

Whomever coined the phrase, “love conquers all” had it right. What do you say when your child opens up to you and is brave enough to come out and reveal who he authentically is? You say, “I love you.”

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9 thoughts on “What Do You Say?

  1. Wow, I was afraid to ask about the name change, but suspected and was correct. My youngest daughter was afraid to tell me she is not a hetero. She thought I would be intolerant. I went through a range of emotions and doubt. She is too young, how could she possibly know at 15? Intolerance was never something I considered. I Love her unconditionally. She was president of the Gay Straight Alliance at her school. I kinda guessed from that, that something was up with that (maybe the alliance part?). She says she is not a lesbian, but refuses to label herself. I am proud she is my sweet (most times), intelligent daughter who has a mind of her own. I hope this all works out well for her as well as Hunter. We all struggle to understand, but one thing we don’t struggle with is our love for our children.

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  2. What a beautiful walk through a challenging journey. God never gives us more than you can handle. Your family is walking your path with the Grace and dignity your son is so very deserving of. You, his parents, gave him the strength to show his true self. There’s no greater gift we can give to our children.

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  3. Hunter is lucky to have you for his mom, and although the journey will be challenging you will all make it though! Hunter is awesome and brave!

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  4. I think many would say that Hunter is lucky to have you as parents. I think you, Richard, Danielle and Hunter are fortunate to have each other. Thank you for helping the rest of us understand this difficult journey. You are not alone.

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