Disclaimer- I feel the need to preface this post with the following explanation regarding timelines and gender pronouns and all of that fun stuff. I’ve noticed that when I’m referencing either the early days when we found out about K or about his 18 years as a girl, my pronouns get all wonky. I haven’ t been able to find the right way to refer to K. For over 2 years now we have been using male pronouns, K’s male name and all things male. It is natural and feels right. It wasn’t always that way but that’s a post for another day. While I feel like it’s appropriate to refer to K in female terms when I’m talking about his time as a girl- using the girl name or she or her trips me up for awhile afterwards and I usually end up hesitating before saying ANY gender pronoun. I apologize for the confusion. I suspect this is a problem common to family and friends of transgender people.
“She’s leaving home.”
That song comes to mind when I look back nearly 3 years ago. My daughter wasn’t running off with some guy. She wasn’t running away. But she was leaving home and never were truer words said when my daughter left for college in August 2011. It has been said that when you send your child off to college, it is a different person who comes home. In the case of our daughter, that couldn’t be more true because you see, when we dropped our daughter off at college, that was the last time we saw her. A few weeks later when we visited her, we saw the early stages of transformation. Bit by bit, every feminine quality faded away and was replaced with something new- either masculine or just adrogynous. It shouldn’t have been a big surprise to us but it was.
Two weeks before she left, our daughter told us that she feels that she was born a boy in a girl’s body. This was the first time I remember hearing the word “transgender” and actually being aware of it. I didn’t quite know what it was. It was vaguely familiar. Little did I know how that one little word would drastically change our lives forever. We shopped for dorm room supplies, packed up clothes, books, accessories and make up. Yes, make up. I would have to estimate that two-thirds of what we packed was “girl stuff” and little did I know that over the next few months, about half of it would end up back at home in her room.
So it was with great sadness, excitement and confusion that we shipped our daughter off to college. And she did leave home, taking with her “something inside that was always denied for so many years. Bye bye.”