Trans Kids, I Love You

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I know many of you are hurting. I know many of you are watching some lawmakers in this nation introduce hateful and harmful bills meant to make your existing in public space, your existing at all, impossible.

I imagine you might feel diminished, perhaps wondering if everything you’ve ever heard about yourself might be true. Maybe you deserve all those questions and wide-eyed stares? What if you are who should be excluded, rightfully expected to self-isolate and accept separation as acceptance? What if your understanding of yourself isn’t real? Is it possible you don’t know who you are? Most heartbreakingly, you might be wondering if you truly are a threat to someone else’s safety.

I am the mother of a trans child, an impossibly self-aware human who has taught me more about truth and honesty and integrity than I would ever think possible, and I am here to tell you the answer to all of those questions and every other inkling of self-doubt that might be creeping in right now is no.

Absolutely not. Never. Never Ever Ever.

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You are the true magic in this world, the one we’re in together, the one we’re currently working hard to change so those questions you might be asking yourself right now — and the questions you’re made to answer about yourself — are permanently dismissed.

I do not want to equivocate: You are beautiful. You are some of the strongest people I know, not because you can withstand oppression and hate but because you don’t bend to the will of the collective — which would be far easier, let’s admit that fact. Instead, you continually and constantly renew your loyalty to yourself against the backdrop of a world that can be extraordinarily brutal to you, for you.

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Make no mistake: You should not need this strength. Living your truth should not be revolutionary.

What I want you to know, what I want you to feel deep in your bones, is that you are heroes. Some of you might blush and think I’m guilty of hyperbole, but I don’t mean hero as cartoonish hype meant only to make you feel good about yourselves or as a way to move you above and away from your feelings now.

I mean you are heroes.

Because knowingly or unknowingly or both, you’ve pushed this world, and people like me, into a truer version of itself, myself. You’ve led with a deeply honest and abiding understanding of your personhood, one sometimes a more complex and evolving human experience than any other. You do this work of selfhood not by closing off and settling in and accepting, but by poking your edges — or sometimes screaming right through them — and stepping into and into and into your truth again and again and again.

Honesty’s shadow, that’s what I think sometimes when I look at my trans kid, so close are they to wholeness when the rest of us take our cues from expectation. We spackle what makes us singular with fear. We cloak our greater selves in obedience, turning and turning and turning away from our truth again and again and again.

My truth: For most of my 49 years I’ve shuffled around in dimness, bumping up against myself now and again unable to make out my margins. I seamlessly blended, worked hard at yielding my own promise to convention.

Also my truth: I know myself more intimately now. I live more honestly. I tell myself the hard truths that are easy to ignore when all you need to do is get by, swift and soundless under the radar. I love myself more and with more compassion than ever before, and see myself connected and in this world in ways that alluded me for most my life outside a nagging tenderness. I make my voice count. I live with deep intention and clarity.

Most of who I am today I am because of my trans kid.

My trans kid is a gift. All trans kids are a gift.

So huddle up my favorite humans and listen to me because I’m only going to say this every day for the rest of your lives: I love you. I love you. I love you.

You are my heroes.

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Writer, mother, optimist.