I was a mom who wanted to know what the gender of my baby was before they were born. The day of that ultrasound was especially exciting. What will the baby be?! We all say we are thrilled as long as the baby is healthy. Once the gender is revealed, the pinks or blues start coming in (I encouraged a lot of yellow and green), the nursery decor and gear are ready to go, and then suddenly, life with a new person in the house begins.
The uniqueness and personalities of each of our kids are what make them special. We all notice the differences between boys and girls, the differences between the firstborn vs. the lastborn, and the differences between newborns and teens. My family has encountered some other differences as well.
For the last two years, we have been on a transgender journey. Being a parent of a transgender child, I’ve learned much about life, people, and gender. It’s amazing how our children continually educate us and teach us more about ourselves and more about what love truly is.
One huge lesson I’ve come to realize is the importance of teaching my children the notion of how you are more than your gender.
My gender has always felt like a significant part of who I am. I am a girl. I have girl parts and hormones like a female. While those things may make a difference in life and feel monumental in how we perceive ourselves, they aren’t everything. Seeing my child as more than his gender has allowed me to see myself as more than my gender. Something I never really thought much about before. A superficial concept that is like the color of my hair or the way my body carries weight, or how tall I am. I am more than that. Our children are so much more than that.
We are who we are inside when it’s rainy and gloomy. You are what you do and say when a friend is hurting. We are how we treat the store clerk or our child’s preschool teacher. We are how we deal with anything that doesn’t fit into the tiny boxes we put ourselves into. The differences we make, the people we touch, and the love we give are what make us. You are more than your gender.
Teaching these life lessons to our kids can feel like a lifelong education; even adults need these reminders. Each of our children has to go through a time of figuring out who they are and who they want to be. Gender is a part of that evolution. Parenting a transgender child who has concluded their journey to self-realization includes a different gender than assigned at birth is a major epiphany for both child and parent. Life turns into a bit of an unplanned disenchantment.
It doesn’t have to be. After my child came out, I certainly went through that phase before asking myself what mattered. Back to that ultrasound day, it doesn’t matter what my child’s gender is as long as they are healthy. Yes, indeed, healthy in body and mind.
Because you are more than your gender.
Resource: Healthy Children