It’s funny how things can change in a split second. One second you think you know the world you’re living in and just like that- it has changed.
That is exactly what happened when my middle child, Kris, came out as transgender. If you aren’t familiar with Kris’s background, you can read about it HERE to catch up.
Not only was I trying to understand what was going on with my kid, but I also had almost every person in my life reacting to this news and sharing their every thought, feeling and opinion on it with me. Needless to say, it was overwhelming and didn’t leave much time for me to deal with my own stuff.
In what seemed like the blink of an eye, but was actually a much longer process, we weeded out, pared down, lost and reshaped our family dynamics. When all was said and done, our circle of trusted people was very small.
As a mother, I absolutely refused to surround Kris with people who were not fully and openly supportive of him as he transitioned and/or figured out who he was. Regardless of how “okay” he seemed on any given day, I knew that he was at risk. I knew that with every text he sent me that expressed how he truly felt about himself and the world, there were millions of those thoughts swirling around in his head.
And just last week he had texted something that made my heart miss a beat. As I was texting back “Do I have to call 9-1-1?” I was moving around the house, mentally planning on how quickly I could get to him…… (I panicked but it made me realize how close to the surface that constant fear lives inside me.)
Our lives took on a different feeling and we got used to being a small tribe. We did not tolerate transphobic and homophobic people.
We knew who we could trust- or so we thought.
And then— just like that—– from inside our circle, Kris was attacked. By one of our own. As the conversation, through text, unfolded, Kris was sending me screenshots.
Was this for real? When I saw this text, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was reeling, standing there in shock, and I could not imagine what Kris was feeling.
I have to give Kris a lot of credit because his responses were amazing. Although he was feeling betrayed, hurt and attacked, he never lost his cool. His texts remained rational and relevant to the conversation. At that point, I can’t say that I would have been able to do the same.
Until the exact moment that Kris sent me the first screenshot of this conversation, I would have sworn that there was no one in the world that I would tolerate saying these things. And then this happened. And it was probably the ONLY person, due to circumstances beyond my control, that I couldn’t cut lose.
I did not speak to LC, other than when necessary, for days. I was afraid of what might come out if I was to try to talk about this. There were people who were no longer part of our lives having said or done a lot less.
I shared this article on Facebook, hoping to reach some inner part of them. –If I Have Gay Children (Four Promises From a Christian Pastor and Parent) by John Pavlovitz. It’s a beautifully written article and I thought maybe by reading it, they might take a closer look at what they were saying. Instead, to my horror, LC shared the article with a challenge for people to have the courage to speak their minds on this matter…..to support their homophobic platform. After a few more homophobic posts, LC deactivated their Facebook account.
This person could not understand why everyone (in our small family unit) was mad at them and why no one was speaking to them. And they were quite offended that terms like homophobic and transphobic were being tossed their direction.
I’ll be honest with you. I shut down and closed ranks. I only spoke to my children and my husband. I didn’t trust anyone except my four people. I can’t go into the details of why it wasn’t as simple as cutting this person loose (after giving them a very thorough tongue lashing with a side of raking over the coals). I had conversations with both of Kris’s brothers and as expected, they are furious. Michael and Andrew are very protective of Kris. Andrew is Kris’s best friend and Michael takes his role as the oldest sibling very seriously. (I am so freaking lucky to have such loving and loyal kids!)
I’m not protecting LC’s privacy but that of one of my four. Please trust me when I tell you that this would make a great movie.
Kris and Andrew, my college kids, are away at school but due back for spring break so it was up to those of us who were here to talk to LC and get an idea what they were thinking. Did they really believe the things they said? Did they actually have a problem with Kris being transgender? And how the hell were we going to figure this out? Regardless, this person needed to know that Kris would be Kris and never again asked to be anyone or anything else.
I’m sure I can guess what you’re thinking. That talk must have been a doozy! Did I tear their head off? Shake some sense into them? Did anyone storm out of the room? Nope. That’s it. Just nope. LC said very little, did not seem too apologetic or the least bit remorseful. I explained why this entire incident was so harmful for Kris. They did say they supported Kris and didn’t mean for all of this to happen but when asked about the texts and the Facebook incidents, they remained silent.
I’ve given this much thought since we had that “conversation” with LC. I walked away from it feeling that nothing was resolved. That is because it would have required something from LC that was not coming. I’m not sure what I expected and I’m not sure what would make things better.
I do know that Kris and Andrew will be home in a few short weeks and we will all be sitting down once again to talk about this. LC had better step up. And I continue to be angry and frustrated and fed up.
To be continued…