My oldest is transgender. I am supportive, but admit I don’t totally understand. I have come to terms with the fact that people must do what makes them happy, what makes them THEM, or they won’t have lived a fulfilled life.

I am an Ally. I have had to defend my child’s choices, to the point of losing friends. They said some pretty nasty and degrading things that cannot be dismissed. I forgive their ignorance and move on. They don’t know that even though I don’t understand, that I could’ve lost my oldest child to suicide. She debated with herself over ending her life instead of coming out and embracing who she is. I have helped her and others in the LGBTQ+ society get the information and assistance they need to establish their true identity, through my job. I didn’t realized how truly incremental this was until I got a greeting card at work, thanking me for my kindness. Kindness is ALWAYS necessary! We do not know what battles others are facing. Their situation is not ours to judge, lest we be judged when we need understanding. I cried when I got that card and still have it on my desk. It’s precious!

I will admit, I don’t understand and still struggle. I did not think that when I gave birth to a tiny, perfect boy, my first born, that I’d later (much, MUCH later) be sitting in Planned Parenthood with her for her to receive her estrogen. However, I am a Mom and I still put my needs aside for the needs of my children. She needs this to be who she is, so I sit in support, just not total understanding. I’m getting there…

I admit to my weakness, so God can make me stronger. I know He kept me alive to help others. It is through my trans daughter that I will fight for law enforcement to be better trained on domestic abuse — that it goes beyond gender and sexual orientation.

It is not exactly how I pictured it, but I have learned not to subject my personal thoughts on my adult children, unless personal safety is at stake. I have to let them live their lives and be who they are. Oh, and make sure I use the correct pronouns. It’s simple respect and love.