Too many times I feel I overlook my oldest. Not my oldest as in the step-daughter I raised but don’t speak to, but my biological, firstborn oldest. She is strong. Here is another short she wrote for her last year in high school for their Literary Press talent show, Pam Slam.
what’s my name?
i don't know my name. turns out I forgot mine in my 3rd grade locker, and now I can't play outside with the other kids and build snow forts in ice mountains.
i don't know my name. no please excuse my manners if i don't text back. i promise i still care i'm just stuck in a hide and seek game that's lasted too long.
i don't know my name. if you could enlighten me please i promise i'll listen this time. i'll read the instructions, and follow them as best i can.
just please say my name.
Since Keely’s 8th grade year, she’s embraced this new persona and said goodbye to her assigned sex. Yesterday she injected herself with her first testosterone shot and she was over the moon. Even though I showed happiness for her and her excitement, my heart broke. The feeling is unexplainable and until it happens to your child, you’ll never know this feeling.
Transgender. When news broke during her freshman year in high school, my heart surged to the top of my chest and became a permanent lump in my throat. Hell, I don’t know if she’s making the right choice, but I have learned through the past four years that it’s not my choice to make. I’m the mom and this is her journey.
I support you.
Whatever makes you happy.
I’m so proud of you.
You are so brave.
You are so strong.
These words come out fast and furious from everyone who has something to say about newly outed transgendered people. Those who don’t agree with, keep their mouths shut, at least in front of her, and with good reason. If I ever heard a harsh or negative thing said about her, I’d be the first in line to whoop ’em. Throughout my extended family, I won’t hear that and neither will she because most are better at talking behind backs and portraying something they’re not.
No, I don’t call her he, or say son instead of daughter, even when her girlfriend’s mom does. I don’t call her by her “boy” name that everyone in high school knows her as. Maybe I will someday but my heart cannot yet. And yes, I know I’m probably saying all of these terms wrong or not using the right context but I don’t care. I’ve come a long way in a short period of time so just be proud of me, dammit.
One of my best friends said something profound when I told her about Keely’s new identity. Simply put, she said,
“Well, are you going to disown her, stop talking to her, or vow to never accept her for who she thinks she is? No. That’s not you. You love her unconditionally and you would never treat her like your parents treat you.”
She is so right. So, I took that approach and I’m running with it. Wish us luck!
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.– Andre Gide (1869-1951)