Unexpected Blessings

When I came out as transgender to my adult children, the reactions varied. The strongest and most negative emotional reaction came from my youngest son. My daughter was, as she told me, heartbroken, not because I was trans but because she realized what would happen in my marriage to her mother. My eldest was angry, and it turns out, the most dead set against me, but it was my youngest son who showed the strongest emotional reaction.

I wasn’t sure I would ever get to speak to him again, or that I would ever be invited into the presence of himself and his wife. His first child was born in January of 2014 and I was not welcome so I stayed away.

Each year, I tried to ensure that happy birthdays were sent, holiday cards sent. I expressed wishes to convey to them through my spouse to them. And I continued to work my way through my transition.

In early September, 2014, my youngest son reached out to contact me. It was an email, brief, but wonderful to see. He wanted me to know that he still cared for me, that he loved me. I’ll be honest, part of me wanted to ask if he felt that isolating me for two plus years was really a form of love but I didn’t. I fought down that temptation because I knew that would create division and instead focused on the wonderful fact that he had reached out to me at all. I wanted healing for us, not further separation.

Over the next few months, our communications continued, sporadic but they continued. About Thanksgiving they became a little more regular. And then, the week before Christmas, my son, his wife, and the grandchild I had never seen came to visit. That was a moment of pure joy, both at seeing my grandchild for the first time in person, but that both he and his wife came over and still cared. That wasn’t the only visit that week. I’m deeply appreciative of those visits, and at seeing my grandson.

More communications followed as 2015 dawned. He came over a few times and one time we chatted for a few hours. We didn’t and probably won’t ever agree on everything, but we can disagree with love between us. And importantly, despite disagreements, he doesn’t want to see me or anyone like me denied our basic rights, and for that I applaud him.

Later, we became friends on Facebook. His wife has been friended to me on Facebook for a long time. It was through her that I got occasional photographic glimpses of my grandson, until that day when I could finally hold him in my own arms. But now I could interact with my son directly, which was a pleasure.

JohnsPost2And then yesterday, this happened, which made me and lots and lots of other people happy too.

We were discussing the Supreme Court marriage equality decision and there was some back and forth about either side not being considerate of the other side. I saw this piece and I sent it to him via Facebook PM, because this article wasn’t about sides, but about opportunities the body of Christ missed this week by focusing on “sides” rather than showing love, joy, and support.

Yes, he misgenders me. 🙂 Yes, he uses the wrong name for Caitlyn Jenner, And yes, I gently remind him of that. But thankfully, he says he’ll try. I don’t expect perfection on that front, at least not at first. But he said he would try! Do you know how good that made me feel? That made cry, happy tears, but I cried.

My daughter and her husband chimed in as well (all names other than mine removed) and lots of people close to us both “liked” that post.

I don’t feel welcome in Texas churches anymore. There are very few trans people I know who feel welcome in churches around Texas these days. But this week I got to see the Holy Spirit move, in my family and then in a separate article about someone whose eyes finally opened about his LGBT brothers and sisters.

We (LGBT people) are not demanding special privileges. We just want the same rights as everyone else. And the way that will happen, eventually, is just like what happened here this week, the Holy Spirit moving to bring my son and myself closer together again and heal those wounds. And that was the miracle this week for me. May you each have blessings and miracles in your own lives as well.


8 thoughts on “Unexpected Blessings

  1. i am soo happy for you,i wish i was as brave as you are, my family (fears of losing them has kept me from transitioning but my feeling simply won’t go away. My best to you and hope you life grows sweeter and sweeter.

    • I reached the point where I was prepared to leave this world rather than continue. And that’s when I realized that I wanted to live, even if people I loved chose to reject me. And many did. But despite those emotional losses, I am happier today, both with my life and myself, than I have ever been in my life.

      I, too, tried to push this under a rock for years and years and years. It won’t stay there. It never does. I wish you the best of luck in dealing with that.

      But I leave you with this – is it really love when someone would prefer that you suffer and even perhaps die for their personal convenience? When I realized that some people didn’t love me, but loved their image of me, it became easier to finally move forward.

      • i am reaching the same conclusions you already have. I am terrified to move forward and even more so to do nothing………………My spouse told me the other day you know you have never been happy as long as i have known you………………she is right and it’s been longer than that, i have not been truly happy since i really knew that i was a girl when i was 5…………………sigh

        Thank you for commenting back to me, you have touched, encouraged and inspired me. i am grateful………..more than i can express.

      • Regardless of your losses that may or may not occur, please remember some important things.

        1. If someone doesn’t accept this, it is not your fault! They are choosing to not accept. It’s on them.
        2. Someone who loves you can legitimately mourn the loss of the old you, but won’t want you to continue in misery. My daughter was like this, bless her.
        3. Someone who tries to guilt you into not transitioning both does not love you and is deliberately manipulating you for their own ends. That’s not love. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s not love.

        Your happiness can only come from within, from you. I do urge you work closely with a good therapist who has experience and/or training in gender identity issues. My work, especially that first year, with my therapist was absolutely critical to me getting my head screwed on straight, precisely because my head was screwed on completely wrong from spending a lifetime trying to satisfy others and trying to live up to the expectations of others. Now the only expectations I have are my own and my goal each day is just to be a better me than I was yesterday.

      • It took me a while but i have found a wonderful therapist to work with. She has been both blunt and honest not just with my gender issues but some surprising attitudes I have that need to be removed, replaced, redirected and repaired.

        Thank you again for your kindness. You really are what a true lady is and how grace looks.

      • The scary thing for me is ending my life is an option that i considered once in awhile in the past 40 years but now is always in the back of my mind………i never considered myself mentally ill but if i have this in the back of mind then i must be.

  2. *
    Thank you, Liz, for sharing the evolution of your son.

    You did exactly the best when you chose to forgive him unconditionally. You now have two children, your other may not be far behind after all.

    Liz, you also had all the best words for GeorgiaKevin. GeorgiaKenvin, please read Liz’ entire web-site. She has very good insight as she has been managing and completing her transition. She has at least one blog page specifically addressing issues about self and family acceptance. I also hope you can find a support group where you live – they will help you plan and develop your transition when you determine that is what you want. Transition appears so difficult from the starting point, yet appears to have been so easy when you reach the ending. This will happen when you are ready.

    My father never accepted my change, never addressed me as Sharon, never referred to me using female pronouns, yet he was far more honest than my mother and sister who derisively called me Sharon and used female pronouns. I accept honesty more than facade.

    My Catholic diocese and parish awarded me for my work as a Catechist and youth leader. I was presenting to them as male while transitioning other parts of my life to female. I moved home to another state and Diocese. My priest knew me from ‘before’, welcomed my return now as Sharon, and enrolled me as a Catechist for his parish. Only one parent raised a complaint about my presence. I discussed this with my Pastor and told him that I choose to resign rather than fight against that one, lone opposition.

    That catechism experience also taught me how people’s perspectives are skewed by the irony of their blindness. One of the priests at a different Diocese and parish was exposed among the paedophile priests where my dad was the parish’s lay Director of Religious Education. When I learned the identity of that paedophile priest, I connected the dots, came to understand harsh realities, my dad was connected to that paedophile priest cover-up, my dad knew all about that parish paedophile priest’s crimes, and my dad did nothing during the many years of that paedophile priest’s crimes against parish children – the same children under my dad’s supervision.


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