Here Goes

It’s been awhile but here is a “straight from my heart and unedited” post regarding last week’s episode of Survivor: Game Changers.

In case you are not familiar with this-

On last week’s reality show- Survivor- one contestant outed a fellow tribe member as transgender during tribal council. If you google it, I’m sure you will find videos and articles galore. I just can’t share a link or the video. I can’t.

Occasionally something comes up that I just need to say.  I need to let the words flow and I have to let them just land. As a writer, I tend to do a ton of editing and proof reading and re-reading……but when one of these posts comes up, well, I listen to my heart and I let them be. Of course, if I had shared the video, it might be easier to follow my ramblings but I really can’t do it. I went back and began watching the segment for a second time and I couldn’t finish.

As you may or may not know, outing a transgender person is wrong. It’s bad. You don’t do it. NEVER! There is absolutely no context in which it might be okay to do. The only person who has the right to share that very private thing is the person himself or herself.

As I sat watching Zeke’s reaction to being outed on national television by someone he might have trusted or at the very least thought he had formed a connection with, I recognized that look on his face. I have a trans kid. And although I have not been witness to them being outed unexpectedly, I watched my child at more social functions than I want to remember with a similar expression on their face. I recognized the tightness in his shoulders, the clench of his jaw, the checked out look in his eyes.

Zeke always knew that there was a chance he might be outed. Every transgender person who is just trying to live their life runs that risk. And I myself cannot imagine living with that- always wondering if today would be the day that someone would say something- and then how would people react. Because people always react- even when they don’t. I’ve witnessed that more times than I can count.

My heart aches for Zeke. It aches for anyone who is trying to live and finding themselves in a world that has all of these antiquated gender roles and stereotypes and expectations placed on them by society. I’m fairly certain that Zeke will be fine. I sincerely hope that he is fine and that this does not cause him to lose people in his life. I know- if he had people in his life that cannot be part of his life upon finding out that he is trans, then goodbye and good riddance. But the thing is, he will take a hit that won’t be easy to recover from. Once again, I can fall back on the experiences my kid has been faced with. The world can be an unfriendly place for transgender people. My kid is grown up so I have no control over the people they come into contact with or how they are treated. And as my child is in a different place than Zeke- being non-binary- their experience in more recent times is also very different than it was when they transitioned to male back 5 years ago.

But outing Zeke was not the only thing Jeff V did that night at Tribal Council. He made a conscious choice to use Zeke being transgender as evidence of Zeke’s deceitful nature- painting him as someone who could not be trusted because after all he was keeping his transition a secret. That was adding insult to injury. Each and every part of a transgender person’s transition is private and theirs to decide if they want to share. It does not imply that a person is deceitful. Quite frankly it’s no one’s business if a person is taking hormones or has had surgery.

There are many people who know little about what it means to be transgender. They don’t understand. Some are afraid of what they don’t understand and that fear drives them to act in some pretty cruel ways. They don’t realize how deeply their words or actions wound. (I want to think that they DON’T realize, because to willfully hurt someone like that- well, ask Jeff V how that worked for him right now?)

There are people who look through transgender people. It’s like they don’t exist, as if by being transgender, they have lost their right to be recognized as a person. Once again, I’ve watched it happen to my child. It might be worse than those hurtful words or cold stares- I don’t know. I just know it chills me to my bones, makes my blood boil and causes me to not be able to sit still and do nothing. And yet, I have had to do nothing when it happens to my child. Why? Because if I was to confront any of these people for looking through my child, as if they don’t exist anymore, I would probably do bodily harm. Unfortunately my kid has grown used to it and shrugs it off. I can’t. And now because Jeff V was willing to do anything to stay in a game, Zeke runs the risk of becoming invisible to people he thought he knew.

And since I brought him up again- Jeff V- the villain. Did he mean to hurt Zeke as terribly as he did? I don’t know. Did he know that what he was doing was wrong? I believe so. Did he realize that he had crossed a line? Maybe, maybe not. But he did think his strategy through so at some point, I find it hard to believe that it did not occur to him that what he was planning on doing was VERY BAD.

Enough about him

I would like to talk about Zeke’s tribe mates. How incredible were they! Their outrage, cries of anger and distress, support of Zeke…. all of it. I studied all of them as the scene played out. Tai and Andrea were immediately upset, crying out and calling Jeff V out for his actions. Debbie and Sarah were slower to speak but also expressed their feelings. And then there was Ozzy. See, my husband and I have been watching old seasons of Survivor and we recently watched Ozzy’s first time on the show. He’s grown up a lot over the years and I was curious about his reaction. He tends to be pretty calm and cool, and as he was not reacting, I was wondering…. Ozzy is a quiet guy so as is the case with most quiet people (see me raising my hand), others make assumptions based on absolutely nothing instead of just asking. I wasn’t sure what he was thinking. And then I heard his voice and he weighed in. Zeke’s entire tribe was on his side.

If the real world can be an unfriendly place for transgender people at times , the internet can be merciless. Small people get very brave hiding behind a computer screen. I read people accusing Survivor of staging it- that the entire thing was a carefully scripted ratings grabber. These people aren’t actors. And that chaos at Tribal Council was genuine. There are some things you can’t fake. Zeke’s shell-shocked expression, Jeff Probst’s face (and if you are a Survivor fan- you know that he’s Mr. Cool- even he was shocked and appalled at Jeff V’s words).

This episode shook me to my core. It dredged up emotions that I hadn’t felt since the early days of Kris coming out. It woke the protective mom in me and I wanted to hug Zeke and do battle with Jeff V.

But it also did something else- we are a long way from late summer of 2011 when Kris came out to us. We have gone through so many highs and lows. We have lost people and gained people. To some people who  might not have been present for the past nearly 6 years, we might appear to be only slightly changed by time and nothing more. I realize that 2017 Kris looks very much like what 1993-2011 Kerri might look today and nothing like 2011-2015 Kris did. And yet watching that episode brought all that we have been through with Kris back to the surface. It reminded me of how many people I have had the pleasure of meeting and adding to that special list I call friends. It showed me how much I have changed personally- how I came into my own as a person through Kris’s journey.

And it made me the Kat that I am today who is going to add a few tags and a category to this post and press that Publish button without looking back.

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Onward

I’ve been in crisis mode for awhile now. I think too much. My good friend tells me this all the time and it’s only recently that I’ve come to realize that he is right. (Please, don’t tell him though because it will just feed his ego.)

When I began this blog, I had a clear goal- to connect with others while sharing my experience having a transgender child. It was straight forward and clear. I have never been picky about who I connect with- I enjoy the interaction with everyone. I didn’t want my blog to be “all trans- all the time” because quite honestly, there is more to my life than just being the mother of a transgender kid. I love the photography challenges and daily prompts.

But I have drifted away from writing about the one thing that brought me here in the first place- having that trans kid. I have also drifted away from writing in general, which was a huge part of me long before my children were ever born and I really need to get back to that.

I attempted to back off on writing about Kris, justifying it with the explanation to myself that I really needed to sort my feelings out before sharing. Months have gone by and each time I sit down to write and I look at the unfinished (or sometimes not even started outside of a title) drafts, I realize that the excuse (and it IS an excuse) is wearing thin.

And I’m overthinking it all- Kris, why I can’t write about Kris, why I can’t write….

NaNoWriMo is breathing down my neck and this year I WILL WIN, if for no other reason than to get myself writing regularly again.

So, without further ado and nearly 300 words later, where I am (and Kris too)—the short and sweet version(or as short as I can make it):

  • As I have mentioned, Kris is non-binary and doesn’t really identify as male or female .
  • Kris prefers the pronouns “they, them, their” but is not hung up on it when misgendered.
  • Kris’s gender expression is female-the source of the misgendering.
  • Sometimes Kris might want to dress in a more masculine manner (as seen by society’s norms) but that makes them no more male than their everyday appearance, which is more feminine, makes them a girl.
  • By some people’s standards, Kris is not considered to be transgender- but by Kris’s standards they are (and that’s the only one that matters).
  • I owe no one an explanation.
  • I love Kris no matter what they wear or what name they go by.
  • I don’t have to have an epiphany.
  • I don’t have to have a lot of feelings about it.
  • They thought they were a boy but they aren’t.
  • They feel more comfortable expressing themselves in a feminine manner, which just happens to match the body they were given. Okay.
  • Kris is still Kris and that’s the same person they always were.
  • I love my kid.

Now that that’s out of the way, I really need to get back to writing this blog, improving my photography skills, and getting moving on ideas for my NaNo novel!!!

Happy Monday!

-Kat

Just Like You

When you meet me and my family, I’m asking you a favor. Keep an open mind. We are your average family…..or as average as anyone can be these days.

I’m married to the father of my three children. We have lived in the same house for the past 20 years. My oldest child is married and has two children and my other two are in college. Growing up my kids were involved in Scouts, band, karate and other various activities. We took annual family vacations and trips to the zoo and museums. I was a Scout leader, PTO and booster mom. Over the years we had fish, birds and a dog as pets.

Two of my kids have freckles. Two are left-handed. All three play musical instruments. Three loved Pokemon growing up. Two have been avid Star Wars fans. One paints. Two are natural comedians. All three are creative although by different degrees- creativity drives one, the other channels his creativity into his life’s passion and the last keeps his in check, allowing it to appear in little bursts. One is an extrovert and two are introverts. Two of my kids look just like me. They all have different color hair and eyes. One has curly hair and the other two have straight hair. Two are boys and one is transgender (see below for definition).

I worried about one child who struggled with reading. Two of them broke bones before they were three years old. One needed stitches at the age of 12. They all had strep throat more than once and pink eye only once (thank goodness!). Two had scarlet fever. They all had chicken pox.

——-Wait- what? (remember that open mind I asked you to keep?)

Until that second that you read that word, we seem like a pretty normal family, right? Nowadays our family has grown to include a daughter-in-law and two small boys. We might be a bit noisier or take up an entire aisle at the grocery store at times. You probably passed us at Target or sat a table away from us when we are at a restaurant. You stood behind us in line for hours waiting to get on the “It’s a Small World” ride in the Magic Kingdom. We might have exchanged pleasantries at school events or shared hellos as we passed each other while walking our dogs.

I worry about my kids when they are struggling, even though they are all technically adults. I love them unconditionally and will always do whatever I can to help them- whether it means giving them a hand or a swift kick in the butt. I want them to have happy, productive lives and be kind, caring people.

We could be anybody. We ARE anybody.

So, the next time you see us and maybe your knee jerk reaction is to look the other way as we pass, I’m asking you to please keep an open mind and remember we are still the same people we were before you heard that one word. We are just like you.

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Transgender– when a person’s gender identity or gender expression differs from their assigned sex or what is considered normal for male or female genders.

This post is in response to The Daily Post Discover Challenge- Open-Minded.

 

 

So What?

As Kris’s hair grows longer and his gender expression becomes more feminine, people are asking “the” questions. (And if they aren’t asking in words, their expressions are.)

Did Kris change his mind?

Is he going back to being a girl?

Is he no longer transgender? 

What’s going on?

Okay, so, maybe they are asking many questions.

In answer to those questions:

No

No

No. If you aren’t sure, think double negatives here- No, he is not no longer transgender…. (Did I confuse you?)

I don’t know.

Thanks for stopping by! -Kat

…………

Just kidding. But in all seriousness, those are my answers. Except for the last one.

What’s going on? Kris remains a work in progress. When you spend your life living a certain way- in Kris’s case, living a girl’s life when you don’t necessarily feel like a girl, that is the only life you know. When Kris came out to us as transgender at 18, he only knew how to be a girl. Although we did not force him into a girl mold, society generally does a good job of that all on its own.

After transitioning and living his life as a guy, he knew that it wasn’t a good fit either. He was letting society dictate how he lived- even in the transgender community. If he was a trans guy, he felt that he had to stay on testosterone and wear a binder and look like a guy.

But he didn’t like wearing a binder most of the time and he didn’t want to take T and his feelings about top surgery were unclear. And he did not feel like a guy.

And that is how he got to this place in his journey.

He is non-binary, not really identifying as male or female but something different. It is a difficult concept for people to wrap their heads around. It was definitely easier (easier being used in the broadest sense) for people to accept him as a guy. Most don’t understand what it means to be non-binary, especially because it isn’t as simple as boy or girl. Many hold the belief that everyone is one or the other.There is no other option…. but there is. And Kris is living proof. Even if it’s hard to understand.

But that’s not the point at all. It’s all about acceptance. I was reminded of this when I was having a conversation with a friend, just trying to process it all. After sharing some of the questions I have gotten from people, my friend nodded his head thoughtfully and said, “And let’s just say that Kris decides to go back to using Kerri or feminine pronouns or both. So what? Does it change how you feel about him? Does it hurt anyone at all if Kris is Kris or Kerri or someone else?”

And the truth is it just doesn’t matter who Kris is as long as he is happy and healthy and ALIVE.

 

 

 

 

F is for “Freckles”

Blogging From A to Z: FFreckles– Natasha Bedingfield

I admit it. I am a freckleface. And not the cute sprinkling across the nose kind of freckles either. I have lots of freckles- not covered head to toe- but I’ve got a healthy dose of them. Growing up I hated them. When you added my glasses, braces and extreme shyness, I was a walking disaster who only wanted to fade into the background….forever. Over time I learned to accept my freckles and forget that they were even there. And it turns out that I’m in good company-

Famous Frecklefaces:

  • Emma Watson
  • Lucy Liu
  • Alexis Bledel
  • Ellen Page
  • Emma Stone
  • Prince Harry
  • Jensen Eckles
  • Julianne Moore
  • Jesse Williams
  • Morgan Freeman

What are your thoughts on freckles? Have ’em? Love ’em or hate ’em?

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Loves of My Life

From the moment I first saw you
The second that you were born
I knew that you were the love of my life
Quite simply the love of my life

My college kids are home for spring break. My oldest kid and his family are temporarily living with us. My house is full, as is my heart. These people are my world.

They are technically all legal adults. I know that we are in a new stage where they are letting go even more. I see and feel the changes each time I see them. It is fascinating and sad all at the same time.

Not that long ago I wrote about a Blindside that shook our family to its core. What I did not write about was what immediately followed, which was a major betrayal that occurred at the hands of same person. I was the target of that second attack.  I can honestly say that I have never felt so completely betrayed by another person in my entire life. What this has done to my family makes it even worse.

Having all of my kids together on the heels of two upsetting incidents makes this visit an important one. Our tribe just got smaller and we are on shaky ground. We need this time to dust ourselves off, take stock and see that we are okay.

Not all siblings of trans kids are supportive but when Kris came out, his brothers showed him a level of solidarity and love that continues to bring tears to my eyes. I did not tell them that they should do this. They just did.

As I’ve talked to my oldest, Michael, on ways to get past this…..as I’ve talked to Kris about an apology he was given and accepted although he questioned the sincerity or intent behind it……as I’ve talked with Andrew, my baby, about how distressed he has been since hearing what happened to Kris…….I’ve been reminded of all that we have been through together- beginning with the long months I carried them, to giving birth to them and raising them, they make up such a substantial part of my heart and my life.

They are my weakness and my strength tied together and attached to my heart. I am fiercely protective of them. Even when they think they don’t need me. Even when they are  parents themselves. Even when I need them myself.

I want to know that they are okay and that we are okay. Weathering the events of this past month has been a trial, at best. I want to cry  which I have  and scream which I probably should have (correction- I did scream and then some) and shake the living @#%& out of someone which I cannot.

My heart is riding on a runaway train.

But more than anything, I want to gather my kids close to me, like I did when they were younger….. and tell them that everything will be okay.

Ornaments….

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There’s no formula to living life. You don’t insert this data into a prescribed algorithm and everything turns out fine. And every person’s experience is unique to them.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Christmas can bring feelings of sadness for moms of transgender kids. It’s not all moms. Some sail through the holidays with little thought of what has been lost, able to fully focus on what IS.

But some of us have a more difficult time. It’s hard to explain exactly why that is. One thing I can assure you is that I am overly sensitive and defensive when I’m faced with someone telling me to love the child I have and be happy that he’s alive and all that.

I’m pretty sure that my feelings for my son have everything to do with my feelings of loss for the daughter I thought I had. It’s because I love and cherish my child so much that I miss the one I thought I had. But I digress..

In my mission to get the tree decorated, I enlisted CJ’s help. He is my grandson, he’s six years old and he does not know that his Uncle Kris is transgender.

His task was to help me sort ornaments into 3 piles- Kris’s ornaments, Andrew’s ornaments and everything else.

I would hold up an ornament and he would read the name and place it in the correct pile. Things were moving along nicely when we hit a roadblock. I pulled out the ornament* (pictured above) and turned it over, fully expecting to see Kris’s name on it. I hesitated when I saw “Kerri” still written across the back. Oops! How had this ornament managed to sneak through? This was the 5th Christmas since Kris had come out.

As my luck would have it, this was the one time CJ was actually paying attention. He reached for the ornament and said, “Whose is it?”

Until this year, CJ was not reading and this wouldn’t have been an issue but since I seemed to be having a streak of bad luck, he frowned and said, “Kris? That doesn’t say Kris. What is this name?”

“Kerri,” I replied. Kerri is a name he has only heard perhaps three or four times.

I placed the ornament aside and moved on to the next ornament, choosing a very cool one, hoping to distract him. No such luck. After a short pause, he asked, “Who’s Kerri?”

Another pause, this time mine. “She is a girl we used to know.”

And that was that.

Fast forward to a few hours later when I was telling Kris and Andrew about the ornament.

“That’s all?”he asked. I nodded. “She’s here in spirit.”

I nodded. “Yes, she is.”

Kris remarked, “Here’s another one.” He was holding a Furby ornament with “Kerri” written carefully across its beak.

“How did that one sneak past, too? How many more are there?” I asked.

Kris shrugged. “This one’s okay. I’m putting it on the tree anyway.” And the Furby ornament took a place of honor, front row and center. As he was walking out of the room, I heard him say, “She’s always with us.”

It wasn’t until I was talking to Kris about these ornaments that I felt the lump in my throat and the tug at my heart. As Kris is becoming more comfortable expressing his gender, which does not fit any description I can come up with other than its so KRIS, I feel Kerri more and more. At those times it’s not a tug but a gripping squeeze that takes my breath away because I’m still not accustomed to her presence mixed up so much with Kris. I still have a lot to work through in this area and as always I don’t want Kris to know that I struggle with this. I want him to feel safe and loved and accepted as he figures things out. My issues are my own and I won’t put them on him. I love him just as I always have and always will. Nothing will ever change that. None of this changes who he is.

There’s a good chance that Christmas will always be tinged with a smidge of sadness but I am choosing to hold onto all the happy memories of that “girl we used to know”.

Oh, and as far as the tree goes? Once we put the replacement angel on the tree, it will be already to be shared for Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 8- Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge. We are still pondering names- we have two possibilities- Sophie or Rafiki.

*The story behind the ornament. Kerri began taking horseback riding lessons at 13. I was nervous because horses are pretty darn big when a person is an average sized kid. Kerri was not, always having had an affinity with animals. Aside from bringing back memories of that specific time in Kerri’s life, this reminds me that this is one of countless times that Kris showed a courage, strength and determination to overcome obstacles to work towards a goal.

Gender Bender

I recently shared that my middle child, Kris, told me that he is genderqueer or nonbinary. After some research and many conversations, we know that he definitely does not fit in the traditional gender binary. He has decided to go with genderqueer. To be honest, depending on the source there seems to be little difference between genderqueer, nonbinary and gender non-conforming. Every time I think I might have a handle on it, I read something that shakes it all up and it’s back to the drawing board for me!

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This is how Kris explains his gender identity.

Does it matter which term applies? Not in the least. Just the entire notion of Kris having unique gender expression is more in keeping with the child I raised. I love him and will support him and it doesn’t matter where he lands under the transgender umbrella.

My questioning and researching is more of a “Mom” thing for me. When I found out I had a colorblind child, I went to the library and learned all that I could. Two of my children were identified as gifted and talented so I jumped in with both feet, educating myself on ways I could help them succeed. And so, Kris throwing out new terms and a new concept to wrap my head around has me running to the internet and googling “genderqueer vs. nonbinary”. I want to understand what Kris is feeling. This kid has been such an enigma!!

In my research travels through the internet I came across terms that I have been hearing for awhile now. I was familiar with most but when genderqueer came up on my radar, you can bet I paused to take a closer look. I stumbled onto this video by Ashley Wylde, whose gender identity/expression is genderqueer. I love how Ashley expresses gender expression. 🙂

We are conditioned to check a box (as Ashley describes it) throughout our lives and that’s difficult to undo. People like everything to fit into a neat little package that they recognize and the minute something doesn’t match up with the ideal that they have been conditioned to expect, it rocks their boat a bit.

I realize that there will be people who will be uncomfortable at Kris’s appearance. He is a guy who might be wearing leggings or have a shawl draped over his shoulder. The funny thing is that now that Kris is expressing himself differently, I do feel more of a connection between Kris at 22 and that little kid who insisted on being called Peter Pan at 2 and wore leggings pushed up over the knees at 4 and insisted on wearing Michael’s outgrown winter coat at 7.

Am I any closer to understanding my child? I think so. I know that he will be pushing the gender binary by expressing himself in a more feminine way at times. He describes himself as a guy who likes girl stuff. Works for me! More than anything, I want him to be happy with himself and able to live in this world accepted by all and supported by those who should.

I don’t think that’s asking too much. It’s a shame that there are so many out there that think that it is.

What Could You Do?

If I was to turn back the clock 3-1/2 years and give advice to someone on how to support my transgender son, here is what I would say-

1. Call him by his preferred name. Do not ask him to use his old name EVER just because it makes you feel more comfortable- regardless of the situation. By refusing to use his name, you are sending a strong message that you do not accept him as who he really is.

2. Use his preferred pronouns. It is a serious lack of respect to misgender him. And use those pronouns ALWAYS- even when you are not with him. You are invalidating his existence by referring to him by the wrong pronouns even when not in his presence. You are telling others that you are not taking him seriously. Once again, you are not showing acceptance.

3. Continue to love him. If your love was truly unconditional before he came out, it still exists. He is still the same kid you loved before.

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4. If I’m telling you about him, accept that he asked me to talk to you. The “coming out” talk can be emotionally draining and stressful. It is scary. He does not know if the person hearing his news will be accepting or not. The information is no less valid if given by me instead of him.

5. Let him know he is loved, accepted and supported. Let him know this over and over again. When people first find out this news, everyone reacts differently. BUT everyone offers words of support regardless of how they might feel. Many don’t know how they actually feel and those words of support fade away if they are feeling uneasy or well…..not supportive once they actually give it all some thought. IT SHOWS. The people who really do want to support SHOW UP. They don’t make excuses. They don’t disappear. The ones who want to be there are THERE.

6. While he is transitioning, the entire family is going to be going through its own transition process. Our transition will be very different from his. Moms, Dads, brothers and sisters might need that extra hug or kind word, too. People will be more prone to express their less than positive feelings and views to us, rather than him. Please be mindful of this.

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7. If he is quiet or unresponsive, it’s not because he doesn’t hear you or want to hear you. It’s probably because he’s unsure if you are really there or not. Remember, there are many people who said the exact same things you are saying and now they are gone. He might need some coaxing. Actions speak louder than words.

8. Educate yourself but remember, every trans person’s experience is different. There is no right or wrong way to be transgender. Don’t assume you are an authority because you read an article. Talk to him about it but be respectful. Or don’t talk to him about it but TALK TO HIM.

9. Whatever he is doing to change his outward appearance, this is nothing compared to what’s going on inside him. He is feeling A LOT. The result of this might be that he appears to be unresponsive at times. Please understand that he spent years stifling emotions, responses and more in an effort to present himself as someone he felt was more acceptable. He might have a lot to work out for himself.

10. Give him a break. He’s going through a lot. He is showing his true self to the world. He is raw and vulnerable and he needs to know that nothing has changed. That whatever he shows you is okay. But to show him that it’s okay, you really do need to show it. Empty words will have a big, hollow sound to them but actions will come through loud and clear.

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11. If you screw up, acknowledge it and move on. It’s natural to mix up pronouns or a name at first but with practice, it becomes habit. And there might be times where you say something before thinking and then realize it wasn’t right- just apologize.

12. Trans or not, he is still a person. He has feelings. He wants to know that his family loves him. He wants to believe that love is unconditional.

Yes, this is what I would say if I could turn back the clock 3-1/2 years. Now that I re-read this, I realize that this IS what I said. And if you read this and you have been doing these things all along.

THANK YOU!

Support and Ducks

“If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”

When I shared the news of Kris coming out with friends, I was met with a variety of responses. I can honestly say that every single one was supportive. Although most people were shocked, they remained positive throughout the conversation.

I cannot say that all of these people remained that way.

There were some that disappeared overnight. I have not heard from them since.

There are others who were just a shade cooler the next time I saw them and they slowly drifted away……….

A few people lashed out at me- attacking me over something I did wrong (and in these instances every single attack was based on a perception- not on any actual wrong doing on my part- and it came out of nowhere- no warning signs in the least) and the only common denominator was that the attack occurred within a few weeks of finding out about Kris. I cannot prove that any of them had anything to do with Kris but in all cases, the people were quite irrational and refused to listen to any kind of reason or to accept my apology (for my non-wrongdoing.) Regardless, those relationships are over.

I don’t feel that these people are supportive- not of Kris, not of me, not of my family. They are ducks.

So, by those standards-

Looking like a duck

Swimming like a duck

Quacking like a duck

— when other people, say relatives, display the same behaviors……… what does that make them?