So, now what? Our youngest child had told us that she was transgender. (Ftm or female to male, “born female”, but identifies as male)
Some days it was no big deal, other days I was in tears and an emotional wreck. Some days I felt physically exhausted. This was new territory. It was so different with it being our child, our baby girl.
Why was it so easy with her being “gay” (pansexual)? Why was this different?
Hubby and I were struggling. We were at a loss. We told a few family members and a therapist. No one really had much advice.
Shortly after our lovely incident with Mel’s psychiatrist (see chapter 5), I started searching. I wasn’t sure what I was searching for. Some sort of sign, guidance, advice. Even though we were inactive and didn’t agree with everything in the church, it was still a part of us. We still had values. I searched something like “LDS LGBT” on FB. It came up with an old post a friend had shared, it was a Mama Dragons video. I bawled! There was a whole community of Mormon moms with LGBT kids and they were supportive and accepting of their kids. It was beautiful and just what I needed to find.
I looked up Mama Dragons on FB. There was a page and a group. 😍 I joined the group, read a few posts, and eventually introduced myself. I was welcomed and shown love and support! It was overwhelmingly beautiful. My prayers (unspoken & spoken) were answered. I soon had a perspective shift as I read more stories of families like ours. It was almost a physical shift, I felt it deep inside. There was a lot of crying that week, and a lot of growth. I had found my tribe and I didn’t even know how bad I needed to find them until I did.
I was soon introduced to other groups. It was amazing!!! We’re all in different stages in our journey and faith, some have even left the faith or were never LDS, but the common ground is love and support!
I didn’t know where to begin or how to fill my husband in, but I needed to bring him up to my level. I didn’t want to get too far ahead and have a huge gap between us. Remember, we were both struggling, only now I wasn’t. I was ok with it all. Even at peace.
One night, I did my best to fill him in, through tears. I knew he wouldn’t understand 100% or be at the same level of acceptance as I was right away. I did get him to be ok with getting Melanie a chest binder. A few days later we had another chat and I told him we needed to let her know where we were with all this.
We were getting ready to go to Supercross as a family and I had a thought. I had something that could possibly act as somewhat of a binder. I talked to hubby and we called Melanie into our bedroom. I thought how cool would it be for her to go to Supercross feeling a little more masculine? I had already told her about the Mama Dragons and that I was doing better with things. Now it was hubby’s turn.
He didn’t say what I expected him to say. He didn’t seem to be quite at the level I thought he was at. He told her that he loved her and that she would always be his little girl, that he could never call her his son or he. However, he said he accepted her and would protect her and stick up for her. He said if anyone in the family didn’t accept her, that she didn’t have to be around them until they did. It was progress! We told her she could get a binder. What I had didn’t quite work out, but our child was happy! Such a small thing, but it was a huge step. There were tears and hugs as we talked. It felt so good. I don’t think I felt like we were losing her anymore. In fact my thinking was- I would much rather have her as a son, than lose a daughter to suicide or have her withdraw or cut us out of her life because we didn’t support her.
Everything changed that week for the better. I’m so grateful to have found the groups and resources when I did, when I needed them the most. I can’t wait to update you on what life is like for us now.
You too can find Mama Dragons-
Also check out the Mama Dragons Story Project, its amazing!
Here’s something else that helped me tremendously, specifically with Mel being trans-< em>http://www.mormonstories.org/mormon-transgender-experiences/