Generations or “Mom, I’m Trans

Generations or “Mom, I’m Trans.”


When her grown son informed her

that he was, in fact, her daughter,

her liberalism was momentarily shaken.


Always one to go for the laugh, her response

was “At least you’re doing it when it’s trendy,”

followed by, “We love you and just want you

to be happy.”


She navigated the five stages of grief

with a modicum of grace, through

tears and fears,

responses no doubt appropriate for her advancing years, arriving

at a place of radical acceptance, fueled by love,


advocacy being the logical next step.


But telling others presented another

challenge, the lifelong black cloud of

“What will they think?”


Secretly relieved that grandparents were

dead , she gradually disclosed to family

and friends that he

was gone

and Emily had arrived, eliciting shock, horror,

bafflement, and ultimately, support,

voiced in exclamations of “OMFG,”,

“How do you feel about that?” and “I’m here for you.”


Millenials, adolescents, and children,

hearing the cataclysmic news,

generally reacted with, “That’s great!” or

“Cool. What’s for dinner?”


leading her to believe the impending state

of the union is better than we think.


At last there is joy in my sad child’s life. For thirty-three years he lived a lie, hiding, trying to compensate, ashamed of what he knew about his identity. We pegged it as social anxiety disorder. Well, it was, and no wonder. I thought I was resigned to a quasi life for my child. Then, in an incredible act of courage, came the words, “I am a woman!” With that public admission came freedom, joy, and a happy, lovely young woman whom I’m proud to know.  And at a time when our country was making progress, allowing outsiders in. What a step forward for inclusiveness! My love of country exploded in gratitude. My own ability to accept, process, and access support was a cause for celebration. America was truly democratic.

And now? What now? Protest and action, yes, but the lingering question is, “How did this happen?”

A new validation











In species Papilio Glaucus

there is an occasional hermaphoditic butterfly,

baffling scientists and observers as well.

Half male,

half female,

split midline,


like more of us

than we used to believe.


One wing is sunlight,

one midnight, both

fanning out

from a complacent core.


This bifurcated creature

flutters about,


with its singularity.


Even God

gets bored with the same

old same old.



Along with terror over the fate of my country, I’m also filled with fear at what may be coming in terms of reversals of the progress we’ve made in the LGBTQ community.  Diversity and inclusion sure don’t seem like part of the mix in our new administration. I refuse to go back to fearing for Emily’s safety every minute of every day. Parents of transitioning children make a torturous journey through the five stages of grieving, reaching a place of acceptance and unconditional love. I know I have. Safety concerns persist longer but lately, it has seemed like progress is being made toward embracing the dignity in all God’s creatures. Now, who knows?  Divisiveness and outright hate swirl around us. All we can do is our best to let go and love. And pray.  I pray for my beautiful, happy daughter who is at last, comfortable in her own skin.

Back to the Drawing board

It’s been awhile. I’ve been in such a good space, so fierce, so supportive, so acceptant. Then I look at a photo or recall a good memory, and my heart cracks open again. The truth is, there are more sad and puzzling moments than joyous ones. I remember how very lonely, sad, and isolated my child was. How hidden. I tried to help but couldn’t get through, couldn’t get “it,” the awful secret that she tried to compensate for and failed. She’s happier, lovelier, authentic at last, and I celebrate that. I love our relationship. I want to be as open and willing as she is. I know I’ll get there. I wish I could be perfect. I never was. I never will be, but I will continue to try.

Moving right along

I will never catch up with this blog.  Emily moves along, has “presented” in public and at work, is accepted by those close to her, and looks and sounds happier than I’ve ever known my child to be. I pray daily for her safety and well-being. She had my first poem on this process framed in the UK, and sent to me. So sweet. I have turned a corner. After a week of feeling freaked out and ashamed, I attended a families support group and gained a new perspective. There was a woman there with a very similar situation who was gorgeous and smart (The whole group was like that, it helped my ego a lot). She was militant about supporting, advocating, and being open about the whole shebang, and I loved  it. I want to be her when I grow up. I want to be free and fierce and funny and full of love, acceptance and courage. No more hiding or backing off. I’m not quite there yet, but that’s the goal.


A lovely one, the last one with my son. Great with the kids, more outgoing than I’ve ever seen him. Set free. Wig and girlie pajamas in the house. Amazing how quickly we got used to it. She did share her head cold, could my immune system be compromised? Can’t think why. And she had a meltdown. all those hormones. My God, she loves his girlfriend. As did I. What to make of that?  How I hope the gains outweigh the losses.  The losses. The losses…

Denial again

Some days I want to withdraw from the whole thing, forget about it, pretend that everything is what it was in September, that life is poetry, practice, the worst of it Paris burning. There are metaphors for change: the weather, clocks, aging, death, redemption. I’ve changed clothes, cars, homes, furniture, point of view, even sex drive. That was a big one, who expected that to vanish. I can’t find a metaphor for a son becoming a daughter, can’t find the language for that conversation.  In my memoir, this chapter never existed.