Family · Gender

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge: Day 2

Today is Day 2 of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. I was nominated by my friend, Meredith at Meredith’s Musings. We met while learning the blogging ropes together. Be sure to take a trip over to her blog. She is just finishing up a different challenge over there! 🙂

kris and andrew museum

Today we find ourselves in August 2011- nearly 4 years ago. This picture might be out of focus with bad lighting but it is significant all the same. These are my sons- Kris (18 years old at the time) and Andrew (almost 16 years old). It was one of the last days before Kris went away for his freshman year of college. That’s not why it is important though.

It is the first time that I remember going out with Kris dressed as a boy. Kris, Andrew and I went to the Museum as a final outing before he left. It was just days after he had told us he was transgender and I really had no idea what it meant. I knew that he thought he was supposed to be a boy but back then, I really didn’t know anything more than that. What I did know was more misinformation than anything else. In those early days, I treaded lightly, trying to find the right way to handle this while also trying to prepare my child for college.

I was very self conscious. I was convinced that someone was going to come up to me and demand to know why I was allowing my daughter to dress as a girl. All I could see when I looked at Kris was my daughter. Looking back I can easily laugh at myself- at how much I didn’t know and how much I’ve grown since then. But at that time, I didn’t know how anyone could look at Kris and think he was a boy. There was just no way. I felt bad for him because no one would take him seriously. I didn’t want people to make fun of him. I wasn’t sure if it was a phase or not. I didn’t know what to do!!! (Remember, I was clueless back then. I had so much to learn and I just didn’t know it yet.)

But here’s the thing that stands out the most from that day. There was this flight simulator ride that they wanted to go on. When they walked up to the employee to purchase tickets, the guy said something to them,  I can’t remember exactly what, but whatever it was, it was clear that he had seen Kris as a boy. I’ll never forget the smile on Kris’s face when he walked up to me afterwards and said, “Did you hear him, Mom? He called me a guy!”

It would be months before I would get a clearer picture of what we were dealing with. There were so many baby steps…. but while so many emotional encounters have faded away, I’m still able to look at this picture and know how important this day was. The first day I went out in public with Kris. 🙂

Here is my Day 1 post.

The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.

Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge.

Accepting the challenge is entirely optional. This challenge is all in fun. 

I would like to nominate Joy from Tellin’ it like it is…. to carry on the challenge.

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