Listening is Step Two When Advocating for Your Transgender Kid

It comes right after, I love you just the way you are.

Ask me any question you need to mum, says Jace.

He steps out into the busy crosswalk. It is already flashing its warning before it turns red. 9 seconds, 8, 7, 6… My hurried steps try to catch up with his.

I do have questions. Many questions.

I reach the curb and look over at him and nod.

Ok, I say. But walk, don’t run, and I will walk with you.

A phrase from his childhood. I could have been referring to crossing the street. But then again, the deeper meaning spoke to this new way of life.

Several weeks had passed since I had seen Jace, in the flesh anyway. He was busy at school and I busied myself with work and daily life. My list of questions regarding his transition grew each day, playing in the background of my mind.

He was socially transitioning first, he explained. I understood, consciously getting used to using his name and pronouns. Would this ever get easier?

Other thoughts surfaced too such as,

  • How does this work?
  • How fast will this transition go?
  • Where do hormones fit in?
  • Will those impair his health?

And finally, in the shadows of all my feelings, one question remained for me alone to figure out. How do I let go of my daughter to keep my son?

The answer I would later learn was I really did not have to, not completely, for they were the same person. My child.

How did I realize this? It was not an epiphany administered by a bolt of lightning. I merely listened.

Learning to listen to my transgender teen.

Watching Jace as we visited over lunch I saw something remarkable. Happiness. Happiness exuded from my son, not in some external way for any external reason but through him, around him, and in him.

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