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.
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.