I registered this blog in February and have been waiting for the “perfect” moment to write my first post. I am in no way tech savvy, so I spent the remaining month of February trying to get the “look” of my blog just right. February came and went with no post. Then, in March, I promised myself I would do my first post as a birthday present to myself. Didn’t happen. April was an emotional month – my firstborn turned 18 exactly thirty days AFTER I failed to give myself the blog post birthday present! I am always reminiscent on each of my kid’s birthdays (I have two daughters), but more so on my firstborn’s. I always consider it the anniversary of the day I became a mom. Surely, the sentimental, sappy reminiscing I was doing would compel me to write my first post, right? Wrong. April came and went with no compelling post. I began to wonder, am I overthinking my first post? Maybe I’m not cut out for blogging? Why did I register a blog if I didn’t intend to write? I was so busy in May, I didn’t even think about the blog or my non-existent first post. I logged in today to make sure the “look” was right and play with the images AGAIN when I accidentally stumbled upon the sample blog page. The title of the sample blog post, which I left as the title of this blog post, stunned me because it was so perfect! And, so, I decided, TODAY is THE perfect day to write my first post.
Allow me to explain why the title “The Journey Begins” is appropriate. This past weekend was monumental. My firstborn, my 18 year old, graduated HIGH SCHOOL! Have you ever heard the song by Garth Brooks called Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)? Well, I feel much too young to have a kid going off to college!! I thought I was emotional when she turned 18, but I found myself nostalgic the week of graduation. You see, two years ago, on her 16th birthday, she gave herself a gift, most likely without realizing it. On April 13, 2016, my firstborn sent me a text, which I hastily deleted. It went something like this, “Mom, I am transgender. I now use the pronouns she, her, hers. My friends know. They support me. You don’t have to use my new pronouns right away. I’m not ready to talk about this in person. I hope you are not mad.” She had been seeing psychologists and therapists since freshman year of high school, so I knew something was brewing. Never in a million years did I expect to see the word transgender. Back then, the only things I knew about transgender people were learned from tabloids speculating about Caitlyn Jenner. I wasn’t against the LGBT community. I just gave no thought to the issues that affected them because the issues didn’t affect me. I remember the exact moment I received “the text.” My husband was traveling for work, it was gray and raining outside, I was in my bathroom putting towels away in the linen closet. I fell to my knees and wept for hours. And so began my daughter’s journey as a transgender woman, my journey to acceptance, and our family’s journey to learning, understanding, and parenting a transgender teenager.
Yes, the past four years have been a journey. In August, we will begin a new journey as our firstborn daughter goes off to college (and our second gets her drivers license). And, TODAY, I begin my journey as a blogger. Once I accepted that my daughter was transgender, I realized I had two new callings in life. First, I needed to reach out to parents who find themselves at the beginning of the same journey to let them know, as difficult as it seems, everything will be okay. Second, I needed to educate those who are not familiar with the “T” at the end of the phrase “LGBT” about what it means to be transgender. I hope you will join me on my new journey.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson