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Father’s Day as a trans woman

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Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are times to celebrate the special bond between children and their parents, but they can be difficult and confusing times for transgender people and their families. There can be uncertainty about whether it’s appropriate to celebrate Father’s Day for a trans woman or Mother’s Day for a trans man. And for many trans people Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are painful reminders that they no longer have the love of support of their family, which unfortunately is far too common. As a parent myself I can’t comprehend how any parent could stop loving their child, and I can’t imagine how painful it must be to lose that love.

Father’s Day is just as meaningful to me now even though I have transitioned because I will always be a father to my sons, regardless of my gender, and it means the world to me that they take the time to remember me on this special day. I have a box of Father’s Day cards that my sons have given to me over the years, both pre and post-transition, and those are very special to me. I know that it’s difficult for them to find cards which are appropriate for our unique circumstances, but that just makes it even more special because they always manage to find the perfect cards.

I occasionally get asked if I ever receive a card for Mother’s Day, but I wouldn’t be comfortable getting a Mother’s Day card because I’m not their mom and I don’t want to be disrespectful to her. But, having said that, I did raise my sons by myself for most of their lives and I do feel that in many respects I was both mom and dad to them, which had nothing to do with the gender I was living as at the time. It was about providing a loving and nurturing environment for them to grow up and not limiting their interests and activities to only male things; I made a conscious effort to expose them to things which would normally fall to their mother. We were far from the stereotypical all male household where all we ate was fast food and watched sports on tv every night. They had the freedom to be themselves and weren’t limited by gender stereotypes. So even if I don’t get a card on Mother’s Day card I know in my heart that my sons recognize the role I played in their lives and that they appreciate the effort I made in how I raised them, and that is what matters most to me.

So the point of all this is to appreciate and love your mom, dad, son, or daughter, whatever their gender may be or used to be, and to appreciate the role they’ve played in your life. Take the opportunity to show them how much they mean to you, because sadly, not everyone is fortunate enough to have the love and support of their family. I feel very blessed that I have the love and support of my children, and that I got to celebrate Father’s Day with my youngest son for the first time in five years, and be with him for his first Father’s Day as a dad.

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