It’s been nearly three years since my husband and I first found out our daughter is really our son. But it was years before that when a suicide attempt introduced us to a world of struggles, with innumerable sleepless nights, endless fears and lots of tears. Our child did not wake up one morning and profess to us that he was a boy, not a girl. Rather, he endured depression, anxiety, bullying, and torment before he could put words to his inner struggle and understood that his gender identity was the source of his pain.
We confided in few people at first, then slowly surrendered our insecurities to instead arm ourselves with knowledge. This decision … to embrace rather than reject our path … would transform our lives. We supported our son’s transition from female to male. Over the years, our family has transitioned along with him.
Many friends, family, and colleagues have been following our journey offline. We have finished writing our book, Allies and Angels: A Memoir of our Family’s Transition, and with the help of our amazing editor, will be publishing early this summer. We plan to formally launch The Ally Project after the book is published.
It seems many of you are as interested in what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, as you are in the product itself (i.e., the book and website). Our experiences, as parents of a transgender youth, have affected us and changed us so profoundly, that we’ve been inspired to do more than write a book and launch a website … we’ve left our jobs to pursue this calling full-time.
Whether we are reckless or fearless remains to be seen! What I know for sure is that it feels authentic and part of a greater plan, which we could either resist or embrace. We choose to embrace.
Fearless is not a word I would ever choose to describe myself. I’m full of fear. It is frightening and uncomfortable to be so vulnerable and share such a personal story. However, many of the fears and difficulties of being transgender (or having a transgender loved one) are compounded by the lack of awareness and acceptance in our society. We have chosen to share our story, despite our fears, to help change that.
As parents, we are getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Transgender people, like our son, have been unjustly uncomfortable for far too long.
As it all comes together, we need to focus our efforts. Rather than continue updating friends and followers offline, via email and other means, we will blog about it. I invite you to follow us.
Some of you may want to learn more about how we came to know, understand, accept, and ultimately embrace our son, supporting his transition from female to male at the age of fifteen.
Some of you may want to know what compelled us to take this huge leap … to use our experience and our life with the hope of raising awareness and creating a world full of allies.
You may want to hear more about how we overcame our fears and limiting beliefs, tuning out the critical voices (including our own) that said we’re crazy to leave our comfortable, successful careers and even more crazy to share our story publicly.
You may also want to follow our adventures as we advocate, educate and entertain at speaking engagements, presentations, workshops, and on the book tour.
You’ll hear about these and many other adventures if you follow our blog. I hope you’ll join us on our journey.
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No matter who you are or how you identify, our story will challenge you to find a new acceptance for all, a deeper love for your loved ones, and a life without compromise in a world demanding one. I guarantee you’ll look at your life … and all people … differently.