Hey there, my name is Gina and I am the mom of an amazing 9 year old transgender daughter, Ashlyn and an 18 year old (straight and also totally amazing) son Tyler. Ashlyn transitioned about 6 months ago and while there have been a few bumps along the way, I have found the whole experience to be one of the most positive and amazing experiences of my life! I have learned so much about myself and have grown so much as a person through this journey and Ashlyn is my inspiration! She is happy, joyful, confident, authentic, loving, forgiving, funny and beautiful inside and out! She loves herself and has nothing but love for absolutely everyone she meets! I am 46 years old and I want to be her when I grow up!
I know that many people in the trans community and their families have had negative experiences and have had to face criticism, judgement and discrimination, I know that these things are out there but for our family, this has not been our experience. Our trans experience has been overwhelmingly positive and I believe it is because first and foremost, we have made a conscious choice to not have these kinds of experiences. I believe that we are all responsible for our own experiences, that it really doesn’t matter what happens to you, what matters is how you relate to it! I also believe that our experience has been a positive one because that is what we are putting out there. We are not looking for a fight, we are looking for love! We believe that there are very few truly evil people in the world and that most people are just scared or ignorant or most likely, both. We choose to treat these people with compassion instead of hate or fear. Now, do I want to go have coffee and hang out with these people? Ummmm…..that would be a NO! But, we are all trying to find our way in the world and there are a lot of very misguided and scared people out there. I just choose to forgive and love (from a distance) and mostly I choose to not give their fear or hate any of my precious time or energy!
People in my life have been urging me to start a blog for years and there are a few reasons why I hadn’t up until this point #1 writing does not come easy to me and I don’t think I am very good at it AND I don’t like to do things I am not good at #2 one of the issues that I am still working through is worrying what people will think of me. The funny thing is that I am not worried at all about being judged for the whole trans thing, not at all! My issue is that I worry people will misunderstand me and where I am coming from! I worry that people will think that I think I am better than them or that I just don’t get it or I am some kind of Pollyanna without a grasp of how the world really works! The third and final reason that I haven’t started writing a blog yet is that I am just really friggen busy! Along with having two kids (oh yeah, and a husband too) I also run my own business. But, I think it’s time! So, when it comes to me not being a good writer, fuck it, I am just going to write what I am thinking and feeling even if it isn’t eloquent or I am sometimes all over the place (which I tend to be sometimes) or even though my writing is not always grammatically correct or it’s filled with expletives (which I love, BTW) and, as far as worrying about what people will think, well…fuck that too! I want to get over this fear and I guess there is no better way than to just jump in. Finally, as far as the time goes, well, I guess I could watch one less “Real Housewives of Wherever” episode once in a while!
My reasons for wanting to write a blog are finally outweighing my reasons for not wanting to. What are those reasons? Well, first of all, I feel that I have a lot to share and maybe a different way to look at things. I have been through a lot in my life, a lot of things that many people would see as a very legitimate excuse to be bitter or angry or depressed but I am none of those things! I am happy, really happy! Of course, I have my bad days like everyone else, I have my issues (actually MANY issues) but I choose to work through those issues instead of ignoring them or using them as an excuse. I see every challenge in my life as an opportunity to grow and learn more about myself to try and become a better, more loving person and it seems to be working pretty well so I like the idea of possibly helping someone else by giving them a new way to look at things. I am also writing this blog in hopes of helping parents out there who may be dealing with issues of gender with their child and who may be scared. There are so many sites and blogs and articles out there telling the horror stories about the struggles and the adversity of raising a transgender or gender non-conforming child and I worry that parents may come away from reading these blogs fearing that the world is out to get them and/or their child.
I want to let people know that you don’t have to be afraid! You can raise a child who is transgender or gender non-conforming or is “different” in any way who is confident and happy and truly loves themselves and if you will just let them, who will completely change your world and your perception and bring you more joy and happiness than you could have ever imagined. This awesome kid who was brought into your life for a reason could end up being your biggest teacher and your greatest inspiration if you will just let them! I want to let those parents know that not only is it safe to let your children be who they are but there is a whole world of love and support out there. That having a child who does not fit into a “box” can be an amazingly liberating experience and can help you to begin to look at what boxes you have placed yourself in and how being stuck in those boxes may have gotten in the way of you truly being authentic and finding true peace and happiness in your life. Are you going to face challenges? Sure, but isn’t that just a part of being a parent?
I am starting this blog to share with the world some of our Happy Trans Family experiences but I suspect that it may end up being a whole lot more than that! I have watched in awe as my amazing daughter has “come out” to the world and has been celebrated and loved for who she is. So, with this blog, with my family by my side and with Ashlyn as my inspiration, I am finally ready to show up in the world and be authentic! I am finally ready to have my own “coming out”! So, if you’re ready world…..here I come!
Good for you my friend. Thanks for sharing – so many things I could about this that are amazing
Thanks so much Diane!
This is wonderful! Good for you. You and your family will always appreciate your efforts in doing this. I think it’s bold and brave and honorable that you want to bring light to the experiences your daughter has had. This will help open a conversation and hopefully educate those less familiar w/ the transgender process.
Thank you so much Corey!
Welcome to the blogosphere! I’m so glad you decided to share your story; it’s wonderful to find another positive voice supporting the trans community. The world needs more parents like you.
Thanks so much!!! Can’t wait to check out your blog when I get a chance!