There are so, so many things that should never be spoken out loud. Even if you think them, they should never, ever be said. Especially to the parent of a transgender person or to the transgender person her/himself. I’ll be making several posts about these. I think that each one deserves it’s own post. I know that I haven’t heard the last of these since we are at the very beginning of this journey… They will be in no particular order of importance at this point.
Early on Peyton and I had several people say, “why? why would you want to be a boy when you are so cute as girl?” The tone of voices in which these words were uttered was one of sympathy and disdain. I was very annoyed and kind of angry. Absolutely no one has the right to tell someone else who to be, especially if that someone is not the parent or lives with the transitioning child on a daily basis. At any age that the decision is made to transition, it is a tremendous decision that is not taken lightly. Not by the person transitioning or the parent of the person transitioning. Some people seem to think that this transitioning is something that comes as a whim, and out of boredom you just go with it. That might sound ridiculous, but as the parent of a transgender child, this is how I feel when people ask me or Peyton why he wants to be a boy. Why not stay as the pretty, beautiful girl that he is? they ask. The reality is that he doesn’t want to be a pretty and beautiful little girl, because on the inside he feels like a cute and handsome boy. Peyton is not a girl, he was born in a girl’s body and at one point looked like a girl but he was not and is not a girl. Questioning why he “wants” to be a boy is completely disrespectful. It would be as if I went up to a straight person and said, “awe, you would be so much better of as gay even though you are straight.” Do you want to make that change? If you are a straight person, do you just want to be gay just for shits and giggles? I’m pretty sure the answer is no. And why would the answer be no? Would it be simple to flip a switch from one day to the next and change what you have known for your lifetime and now become something else. If you are a straight woman, could you suddenly start dating women. Would your family accept you as a gay or lesbian person now? Then there is the confusion factor. Kids are involved, do you want to make them think that one day you can be a girl and the next you can be a boy and repeat this change on a daily basis as if you were changing your underwear.
For me as a parent, it was very, very difficult to make this change. It wasn’t my place to say “hey this is not happening” but I did have to make a mental change and a physical change in the way that my household looked. I knew from the start what I was getting into. I knew the hurt that I would hear in my parents voice (this stems from their religious beliefs). I knew the contempt that I would hear from others (those unwilling to accept people for who they are). And I knew the judging that would come from this because as much as people say “oh that’s who he is”, so many people judge you solely on the decisions that you make. Damn if you do and damn if you don’t.
Yes, Peyton is four years old. He doesn’t fully understand the impact that this change makes in the lives of those around him (something that is completely stupid by the way because he is not hurting anyone at all by being who he is). And by impact I mean that some changes have to take place that take time and not everyone will accept, this includes getting used to a different name. He is simply Peyton. A little boy who wants to be himself and have fun. So don’t ask him why he doesn’t want to be a beautiful little girl, just see him as the handsome little boy that he is.
Nope, it’s not all butterflies and rainbows even though that is how I want our lives to be.