love

The Father of My Trans Kiddo

The Father of my trans kiddo is not the man I met 15 years ago. That man was young, determined, had what seemed to be impenetrable strength … and a full head of hair. I certainly felt like he was my protector back then. We didn’t always see eye to eye, but that was part of the passion between us. I remember leaving our first date feeling like nobody I had ever met had equalled my passion in conversation and debate like he did. It was pretty awesome.

But as the years have passed, the best part of marriage has been the growing together, changing together, and falling in love with each other at each stage of life. We do not stay the same person after getting married, having a child, experiencing death, etc. These life events alter us and we become someone new. I can say with certainty that I have fallen in love with my husband four times in the last 15 years. This last time being the most important and life altering jump into love.

Going through J’s social transition as a family changed us all. Alex was always supportive and on-board. It wasn’t a struggle to “make him believe” or “understand”, and I didn’t fall out of love with my partner during this process. But the person I saw come along with me on this ride, was not the person I knew before. He wasn’t always determined or impenetrable, and didn’t have all the answers. He questioned and listened and researched and read. He became malleable to the information he was receiving. He changed. He became passionate about the politics that affect our kiddo and our lives in a way that was so beautiful … and frankly, smokin’ hot! I fell in love with him again because of this.

So today, I want to wish this awesome guy an early Happy Father’s Day, and tell him how proud I am of the person he has become:

Babe, you got this Father thing down! You lead your children through life, while still following their lead to new spaces. Happy Father’s Day to one of the greats.

-- Lucy

Listen to Ruby and I “grill” our partners on Episode 12 of the podcast this week!

Diversity and Relationships

“I get the sense you didn't have a lot of gender diverse people in your life before you had one in your family.” - a friend and listener of the show hypothesizes one night over messenger.

Was it that obvious? Ha.

When Lucy and I sat down to create this podcast I'm pretty sure the only trans people I knew were my son Z, her son J, Jazz Jennings and Josie Totah. Which is fine. There's nothing wrong with my population being rather limited. It just so happened that my path had not yet crossed with very many trans or gender nonconforming people in my life.

Spoiler alert. It has now crossed with many!

I'm playing catch up.

Every day my world is expanding in ways I didn’t know it needed to, and I have lots of our interviewees to thank for my own education in gender diversity and inclusion. Each trans person’s story is their own - something we announce in our intro week after week. And right now, our sons are just too young to tell their stories for themselves. We are relying on special guests to help bring the story to life, each guest lending their unique and diverse story to our listener’s ears. And if like me, your exposure to the queer community is quite limited I know you are incredibly grateful to get the privilege to see it from the inside with the help of our special guests.

This week's special pairing, Nathan and Neve, were another great addition to my personal education, and I hope you will love learning from them as much as I did. These two identify as a queer couple, but if you saw them on the street you might be quick to write them off as part of the binary; another heteronormative couple walking hand-in-hand down the street. Which as a side note, also leads me to wonder… how many trans people I do happen to pass on the street on a daily basis (remember - an estimated 1 - 2% of people identify as trans, or the same amount of people as who have red hair).

But as Neve shares in this week's episode, being queer and in a relationship without gendered expectations has its perks! She says, “I have a partner who treats me like an equal, and who values all of my complexities, and who I get to be my authentic self with.” Heart eye emojis all around, friends!

I know in talking to other parents of trans and gender diverse children and youth, there is no shortage of fears about our kiddo’s future romantic relationships. Will they find someone who loves them for all that they are? Who will love my child as I do? Will they meet someone to share a life with?

I think everyone will enjoy listening in to this week’s episode of The Gender Diaries Podcast, “Meet Neve and Nathan.” Let them show you how they have built a relationship that suits both their strengths and weaknesses as people, and as a couple. It is a diverse relationship, and one that is so special to the both of them.

I hope that you will value and honour their courage and vulnerability in sharing their story. I know I do! And I thank you so much Neve and Nathan, for continuing to educate me and allowing another story I can learn from to be a part of MY story too.

And if you are a trans listener who would like to add YOUR story to our narrative. Specifically, a trans person of colour, or a trans woman (we have none so far!), we would love to hear from you.

-- Ruby