About Accepting Dad
I’ve been a lot of things in my life; the most important of those things is a father of two boys. Both have special needs. One’s needs are more uncommon than the other’s.
For the last five years or so I’ve belonged to a few wonderful on-line communities supporting parents of gender-nonconforming (or gender-variant, or transgender) children. The lonliness, isolation, and sadness I’d felt without understanding, was lifted once I found these fellow travelers, and I found that writing posts seemed to help both myself, and the people reading them.
I’ve made the time and space to document my child’s growth, development, and my own journey to acceptance of transender, in the broadest sense of that word, not just as transexualism, but as the breadth of the world outside the gender binary.
As a straight, white, ‘professional,’ male father of an intact family, with two boys, one gender non-conforming, one not, I have felt called upon to speak for the community of accepting parents from this position of empathy with more conventional families. I speak to the straight, heterosexual majority as one of them. I speak to the homophobic and the transphobic as one who was, at one time, both of those things.
The posts will be added over time, non-chronogically, as I mine them out of the list-serv’s archives, and edit them of identifying personal information.
If you know of a father who is struggling with his son’s (or daughter, but I speak mainly to my own experience here.) gender identity, sexual preference, gender expression, send them here. There is illumination in dialog; salvation in confession; solace in community, as we become the people our children need us to be.
I write this out of the love for my son, and my love now for all sons, all daughters born as sons, all gender-nonconforming youth who have lost their families for being who they had no choice but to be. I write to say, (as almost all writing exists to say) that human change is not only possible, but inevitable. Just hold your love for your child in your heart as you ask the age old questions—
What is a boy? A girl? A man? A woman? What does it mean to be human? To be different?
And listen to your child’s answers.