My MTF Daughter: An open letter to her friends

My beautiful girl

My beautiful girl

I understand that there are a great deal of you out there struggling for the courage to tell your parents, family and friends who you really are.  I can’t even fathom how scary that must be.  Here I am born into a body that suits me just fine.  But I did have cancer once, so I know what it feels like to have that separation of mind and body and to also feel betrayed by that body. It’s not the same I know, but it’s a close as I can come to walking your walk.

When my extraordinary daughter confided in me that she was born in the wrong body, she did so in a letter. Well, an email really. As close as we are, she could not tell me this to my face. And I don’t blame her. In her email (sent from her bedroom to mine) she got right to the point in a single paragraph, and included explicit instruction not to speak to her about it in person. So, what did I do? I marched right in there and started a conversation.  She was so scared and nervous that it broke my heart. It no longer mattered what the conversation was, I just wanted her to feel comfortable to talk to me and be herself with me.  My girl was amazing.  She was quiet and patient and no matter what I said or asked, her response was a tentative and gentle “I love you.” Genius, right? That’s my girl.

It took a long time for life to return to “normal” but we found our groove and I learned to go at her pace. (Sometimes she had to remind me to slow down.) I took on the responsibility of telling the rest of the family, and I did so without her present. I assume acceptance, I don’t ask for it. But, people need time to digest. To ask questions, to understand what it is that we’re telling them. There is a lot of misinformation and misrepresentation out there that has left a negative stigma attached to transgender. It takes time to cut through that crap and undo the falsehoods. I found it easier to avoid the word transgender in the beginning. I came at it sideways and let my family know that my son was actually my daughter… with a hormone problem. A treatable hormone problem. And then I asked them for their help. People generally want to help. They want to feel useful. Giving my family members a task helped ease them into the transition of letting go of an assigned sex, and seeing her for the person she’s always been.

When it came time to tell her friends, my girl wrote them a letter too. This one was a little longer, a little more thought-out, and she planned to post in on Facebook the night that all of her friends would be at their grade 8 graduation. My girl didn’t want to attend, and I don’t blame her for that either. If you can’t party in sequins and lace, it ain’t a party.  Once she posted it, we sat together in a cuddle on the sofa on pins and needles waiting for the dance to end and the comments to begin. We were beside ourselves with fear, and the wait was excruciating. But finally, they came. They came in droves. And the support was overwhelming. It brought tears to my eyes and my girl was floating around on cloud nine. We hugged and danced and laughed at our own silliness. To all the people who left a comment of support on my girl’s Facebook page that night… thank you, thank you, thank you. From the very bottom of my mommy heart.

My girl has given me permission to repost that letter to her friends here. I hope that it may inspire some of you to find the words and courage to let go of all that you’re not, and live each day with who you really are.

Mackenzie-letter

**Update – You can read more of our story, or find tools for acceptance in my new ebooklet, an unwanted penis. Now available on Amazon, and coming soon to an e-retailer near you. Spread the word and help more of our youth gain acceptance from their parents. #anunwantedpenis

Advertisements

30 Comments

Filed under Awesome, parenting, transgender

30 responses to “My MTF Daughter: An open letter to her friends

  1. B

    Hey uberscribbler, I live in the Toronto area too, I’m a 17 (almost 18) year old boy, i would love to talk to you guys some time, as I’m currently going through some gender issues and all that. If we could talk so u guys could give me some advice/answer questions and such that would be great thanks.

  2. Maggie Mesonero

    What a difficult but beautiful journey of love and acceptance. Machenzie, let your beautiful colours shine bright.

  3. Aimee

    Hi, uberscribbler.
    I hope you won’t mind, but can you ask your Daughter if I could edit her letter sighty to help me come out to my Friends and non-immediate family. She has such an amazing example and is so lucky to have you as a Mum.

    Thanks,

    Aimee

  4. This was beautifully written. Both the post and the letter Macie posted had me bawling like a friggin’ baby. I’ve only known her for such a short period of time, she’s a hell of a friend and seeing this part of her made me somewhat emotional and stuff. I can’t imagine how much strength and courage you and her had to muster to assess her situation and respond in such an amazing way (that word does your actions no justice, but it’ll do for now), seriously. Believe me when I say that you, ma’am, are a goddamn superhero, pardon my français, I just can’t say it any other way. I only wish that every parent from all over the world with LGBTQ kids and loved ones reads this post follows your example.

    I didn’t go through the same acceptance, unfortunately. I came out to my parents as Bisexual last year for reasons of my own. I haven’t been under their roof since I turned 17 and joined the Army. After 5 and a half years in the Army, my perception of the world around me changed drastically. I may have seen it fall apart many times due to my career choice but it showed me that there is no such thing as labels. Black, white, yellow, red, brown, male, female; it don’t matter. We are all people and everyone deserves to express themselves as they see fit in any way or form. My parents have now come to terms accepting my life choices and I’d like to think they grow become prouder of me as the years go by.

    I wish you and your family the best.

    – C

    • Thank you Charlie, I’m thrilled to be recognized as the superhero I’ve always felt that I am. ;p
      I appreciate you sharing your wisdom, and also for your friendship with my daughter.

  5. Reblogged this on My Transgender Life and commented:
    This made me hopeful. Sort of awesome.

  6. You handled that very well. Especially the reframing of things as “hormonal.” You must be a great mom. Your daughter’s picture is beautiful, BTW.

  7. Melissa Orr

    Will never forget when I first saw my cousin’s letter :). I love my family unconditionally even though sometimes I may not 100% understand what they are going through. Such a brave decision and I’m still so proud :)!! Love you all xoxoxo

  8. Chuck

    If this post was supposed to bring me to tears, mission accomplished. My son recently came out to my wife and I as Bisexual and he did it with such courage, which is a huge trait of his. My wife wasn’t such estatic but she has learned to accept him. He may not be under our roof now but we will always care for him and love him and I wish to see him come home one day.

  9. Wow! Stunning! I love it! Your daughter is a very courageous girl! It’s amazing that your family and her friends support her 100%! The two I have told support me 100% and I plan to let my parents know in a similar way, because I too can’t say it to my mothers face, I am just too afraid! I have written a letter and maybe emailing it will help! That letter is truly touching and feels like it truly came from the heart! ❤
    This has helped me soooo much and I plan to tell my parents that I was born in the wrong body by Saturday!
    Thank you so much for the help and for posting this to help give other people hope!
    -Alicia ❤

    • I’m so happy for you Alicia! Please keep me posted on how it goes. You have a support network here with us any time you need us! Happy Christmas!!

    • I’ve been thinking about you a lot Alicia, hope you are doing well. Sending tons of love and hugs your way. 🙂

      • Thanks so much! I really appreciate that and to keep you posted I have actually started seeing a counsellor for depression and anxiety attacks two weeks ago. Coming out as transgender is not so easy, as I haven’t been able to do it yet. I do have a plan though, I go to see my counsellor tomorrow and think I will come out to him so maybe he can help me with coming out to my parents. I assume there is nothing my parents or family would think less of me for, after all I am their child and we share a good strong family relationship. I am really starting to believe that I will be accepted for me and that the time is right! 🙂 I have told a few friends about my situation and they 100% support, that really boosted my self-esteem because after all if teenagers can almost instantly wrap their heads around this and be accepting why couldn’t my parents? Sorry I haven’t kept you posted there has been a lot going on with the new year and all. Hoping my plan works out and if not I’ve not got much to loose as I feel I have a strong support network! Thanks and hugs to you and your family! 🙂

      • I’m so glad to hear from you! You WILL be accepted Alicia, sometimes people just need a little time. You can give them that and be patient, I know you can. I’m also glad to hear you have someone to talk to as well, I’m so excited for your future. There is a lot of stress attributed to hiding who you are, as it’s always on your mind. When that is gone, you will be happier than you have known. 🙂 Keep your support network close and lean on them often. That includes us! Love & Hugs. ❤

  10. Wow, must be an amazing feeling not to hide anymore! Your daughter has done a great thing, as it will make those around her better people and more open and accepting to people who are different to the norm (whatever normal is). Lovely bit of writing that really spoke to me despite not being in that situation.

  11. You have an amazingly brave daughter 🙂

what do you figure?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s