He always just marched to the beat of his own drum...now at 13, still stubborn and immature and not ready to give into anyone else's perceptions - he does what he wants and he really doesn't care what you think. Some of that is his teenage rebellion angst and some is just him just being a plain pain in the ass. Most of it is because he doesn't care if you accept him or not. And I'm hoping that is something he continues to carry with him for the rest of his life through the struggles. My activist head knows very well what I'm supposed to do here. I have friends who are lesbian and trans and gay so I know how to rally and support them. Lend my voice to speak for equality. But this is my child. That shouldn't make an ounce of difference, but it does. I wish with all that I am that it didn't. So instead of surging forward with my pride flag waving high, I am taking steps in stride but holding it back just a bit.
I've already mourned the loss of one child I thought I was going to have when Jacob was showing signs of developmental delays and was diagnosed autistic. I've already gone through the motions of losing that mind's eye child and the hopes and dreams I had for him. Please don't misinterpret my accounting this loss as equal to the actual physical loss of a child, but I won't discount my feelings here either and I promise you that this hurts and is something I did indeed endure. Now I'm going through this again. I'm losing my son, but will be gaining a daughter.
So now we embark on this journey. We live in a RED county in a BLUE state. It won't be an easy route, but we will see him through. There are so many questions. So much to be dealt with. Things you never knew you would have to google. The medical issues, the discussions to have, the legality of it all. Pronouns, clothing, shoes, bathrooms...... The hate and fear that is directed at this community is overwhelming at times, but the love, support, and understanding is what we will hold on to as we go forward. We will stand together as a family and keep those close who will support our way down this path and let the others who can't understand or choose not to be a part of this life go.
He realizes the trials and tribulations he's going to have in this life. He realizes only by what he seen on TV, what he has read, what he has heard and watched on YouTube. He has been fortunate enough to have grown up with a great group of friends that accept him as he is and that includes most of their parents. He has never known people to come up and say those horrible things they can say to people like him. He doesn't know that family members and friends may just be worse than strangers and will be unaccepting of this life. Doesn't really know yet that he's going to be hurt deeply. I can't protect him from this.
But this isn't a choice. This is who she is from the depths of her soul. This is our daughter.