A new day and a new fixation

I really needed to get that last post written.  It’s been eating away at me for a while, and when a geographically distanced niece stuck her two bits in…well that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I’m so glad I got it out because getting it out, sharing it, made it possible to let it go.  Or at least begin letting it go.

I saw my brother this afternoon, at the petrol pump.  My heart didn’t even start racing, maybe I’ve started to let go of him too?  I don’t know, but it was nice not to walk away in tears.  My head’s stopped pounding.  Stopped trying to process this confusing situation we’re in.  It’s like I’m on a little holiday from it all.  Thank goodness for this blog, and thank goodness for the kindness and support that comes through it.

So a funny thing, Freddie possibly has a new fixation developing – church!  Now because of the chatter in my head recently I can’t pinpoint the moment this fixation began forming, but a couple of days ago he casually mentioned he might like to go to church with Nana and just, well, you know, check it out.  Last term he came home from a sleepover at Nana’s with a new purchase – a necklace with a silver cross.  He had seen Nana’s and decided it was something he wanted to have.  Then came the questions –  why was he in the “Cultural Stories” and not “Bible Studies” group at school  (Freddie’s school offers the choice, Bible or Cultural, once a week for half and hour.  Not been religious we chose Cultural Stories).  Why did we not go to church?  Do we believe in God?  …

Anyway, Freddie’s convinced Nana she should take him to church this weekend.  I am saying now – he will LOVE it!  What’s not to love for a kid that sucks up new experiences like a vacuum on speed.  He’ll come home and recreate everything he’s seen.  He’ll have the “alter” set up, the chalice, the special cloths.  He’ll find a way to create a priest’s cassock, he’ll insist we make him a collar. He’ll develop an interest in Latin.  He’ll notice all those strange rituals I never noticed as a kid, how the priest turns the chalice round and carefully wipes it between parishioners, how he folds the cloth.  Oh my, Freddie’s going to ask to light some candles.  He’ll want incense…  This is the beginning of a new fixation, I tell you now.

In the car on the way home today, Freddie was telling Izzy how he would be attending church on Sunday with Nana.  He went on to say that he believed in God and his son Jesus and all the stories, but the one thing he had heard that he definitely did not believe in was the fact that God created Man.  “Now that Izzy, is ridiculous.  Monkeys created man”.  A loud GAUFFUF from the front seat.  Izzy asked Freddie “Freddie, how did Monkeys do that?”  Freddie checking with me first “Mum, was it monkeys or apes?  Izzy, monkeys turn in to men”.  Izzy can’t believe her ears!

And so it starts…

 

They are not dead

I want to write about the joy of having two beautiful children, the craziness of suddenly finding myself mother to a girly girl who’d been masquerading as a boy for four years.  

I want to write about all the awesome little things people do to show their support and their love.  

I want to write about how brilliant Freddie is, how caring and intuitive Izzy is…

But my tongue is tied.  The words dry up before they’re fully formed.  Because other words need to come out first, but they’re hurt and angry and frustrated and my own mind’s not willing to give them free reign and no one wants to hear them.  They’re stuck, inside, unheard, festering.  Festering and eating away at me.

I want this unfinished business finished.  But I’m in limbo.  I’m meant to be accepting and forgiving and patient.  I’m told to be humble and understanding, to take the higher path, be the better person, turn the other cheek.  I’m assured things will work out in the end, that “they’ll” come around.  That if they don’t, it’s their loss.

I have to do and be all these things because I choose to support my 4 year old child.  For this “they” have cut us, Izzy, Freddie, Harry and I, from their world.  Some of them have taken this opportunity to pour out all the anger and hate, I never knew they had for me. 

How can it be their loss when their very choices to reject, to hate, to fear Izzy, have a very well documented and undisputed result in transgender youth? That won’t be their loss.  

How can it be their loss when they have the freedom to abuse?  And I am not even permitted to defend myself.

I feel suffocated by all these words.  I need to move on, leave them behind.  But I can’t, can I?   They’ll always be there.  Just not at the same time as us. 

Life doesn’t go on as normal.  I now have to check that “they’re” not visiting before I take the kids to see Nana.  It’s not their loss because they haven’t lost anything, they’ve thrown it away, as if it never held value for them.  

It’s as if we’re dead.

I don’t care so much for myself, they’ve taken off their disguises and shown their true selves.  Who they are when the chips are down. But my kids are four and seven.  They’re full of life and joy and love.  They’re not dead.  THEY ARE NOT DEAD! 

New Zealand, we love you

I don’t spend too much time thinking about the future (I might, if getting through the day weren’t such a mission sometimes), but I like to have some knowledge of what it might hold.  For instance, Freddie is a thumb sucker and will definitely need braces, it’s good to have an idea of when he’ll need them and what that will cost.  Lots.

So with Izzy I like to be informed, what will happen when she goes to school, what will happen when/if she needs a passport, what will happen when puberty begins and we want to pursue hormone blockers, what will happen if she wants to transition surgically?

The more I read, the more I realise how very fortunate Izzy is to be a New Zealander and perversely how very difficult it is for those in other countries.

Click here to go to www.familydoctors.co.nz and read their article – A Guide to Transgender Issues

Video

Albert Nobbs

It’s been a REAL hard day, Freddie has been flying into rages since early this morning and we are all beaten down by it.  So, for recovery, I decided I’d find a film to watch with Harry tonight and came across one I’d watched pre-Izzy’s transition – Click to watch preview of the film Albert Nobbs.  It’s very moving, and well worth the watch.

But the thing is, I can’t remember connecting Albert with the word “transgender”, as far as I was concerned he was simply a fellow human being who’d been cruelly tricked in to the wrong body at birth (a female one) and was living his life upon the pain of discovery.  I guess, I feel the same way now.  We don’t really use the word “transgender”, I just think of Iz as a girl in a boy’s body.  

Thinking about this allowed me to connect with another blogger’s post, on Off the Spectrum, How Autistic Are You? by Anonymously Autistic.

I’ve read about gender being a spectrum, there’s loads of different ways people identify, and all these terms “trans”, “fluid”, “cis”…. but, I’m not sure where I’m going with this, all gender expression is human and it seems that it’s only once your place on the spectrum is pointed out and labeled do you feel you are other.  At the moment Izzy doesn’t feel other at all, she’s not aware of any special labels, she is just her.  

I wish it would stay that way.

Video

lp”The Black Eyed Peas – Where Is The Love?” 

Where is the love

I just watched the remake of Black Eyed Peas “Where is the Love” (link to the original recording above) and it pretty much summed up the way I’m feeling today…

Where is the Love?  

Listening to the radio, during my mad dash from kindy to school I heard a report from Indonesia:  The constitutional court is considering banning adultery and gay sex.  So, if an LGBT couple are discovered to have had sex they can be prosecuted.  The group leading this is perversely named The Family Love Alliance.  

Where is the Love?

What I later found out is that some parts of Indonesia already punish gay sex as an immoral act.  In an province called Aceh, ruled by Sharia law, the punishment is 100 lashes.  Lashes!  My god, can you imagine this happening to yourself, your friend, your child?  But it doesn’t ended there.  After a public whipping comes a prison sentence of up to 100 months.  Or, you can choose to pay a fine of 1000g of fine gold.

So here we have it.  We haven’t “come so far”, things aren’t “so much better now”.  Things, LGBT rights, will never be better enough until all LGBT people are free to live without fear of persecution.

The past 12 months have been terrible for Indonesia’s LGBT community.

Indonesian gay rights campaigner Dede Oetomo, smiling at the camera. He is wearing thick-rimmed glasses and a pink t-shirt.PHOTO: Gay rights advocate Dede Oetomo feels society has become more conservative. (ABC News: Adam Harvey)

A gay support group was hounded off a university campus. A former cabinet minister said gays should be killed. The nation’s deputy president cut funding to a program designed to end stigma. And the nation’s peak psychiatric body said homosexuality was a condition that could be cured.

The past 12 months have been terrible for Indonesia’s LGBT community.PHOTO: Gay rights advocate Dede Oetomo feels society has become more conservative. (ABC News: Adam Harvey)

A gay support group was hounded off a university campus. A former cabinet minister said gays should be killed. The nation’s deputy president cut funding to a program designed to end stigma. And the nation’s peak psychiatric body said homosexuality was a condition that could be cured.

What’s in a name

I was thinking back on a previous post, where I was mourning the loss of Izzy’s birth name.  When I wrote that I felt overcome by grief and that felt ok, understandable, expected even.  But now I find myself in an altogether different place; it actually pains me to think I haven’t always known Izzy was Izzy.  I no longer grieve,  and I don’t miss the child that was here before.  That child just seems like an empty shell, a costume that my daughter was forced to wear.  Was she really ever a boy?

Perhaps this is partly because of Izzy’s own view of the past; she wants it removed.  Hearing her old name or pronouns used distresses her.  She tells me she feels both sad and angry when people do that (and it is only ever accidental, aside from when Freddie does it, but that’s a whole other post I need to get written).  When I hear male pronouns, or her birth name used I have to hold back tears.  It actually hurts my heart, and I know without doubt that it is unintentional, but still it feels like a slap in the face…Because I want to forget.  I want to forget that as a mother, I didn’t know that my child was in pain.  I didn’t know she’d arrived in the wrong body.  I don’t know if that feeling will ever leave me, guilt.  So perhaps forgetting, for now, is my way of coping.

Video

Sharing

Click here to read Jacob’s Journey, raising a transgender child

I just watched this.  In tears.  It’s so beautiful and so happy and so real to our own experience.  

Today Izzy had her swimming lesson, we had to change days to fit in another ongoing appointment so Iz has a new teacher.  I admit, I did feel apprehensive, Lauren had taught Izzy through her transition and I trusted her 100%, would I be able to say the same of Izzy’s new teacher?  

Absolutely YES!  The lesson was fab.  Izzy now has two new classmates, and their parents, who have no idea that Izzy once swam with a different name.  It’s an exciting new time for us.  But that’s not what I wanted to write about.  I wanted to celebrate and rejoice over the way Izzy has become so beautifully Izzy.  She bounds into any room like a long legged gazelle.  She looks people in the eyes and maintains conversations.  She giggles and laughs and plays like the happiest child you’ve ever met!  Just like Jacob in the video link above.

Every day I feel so very grateful that she is our child.  She’s amazing, so glad I got to meet her:).

“Yay!” news from California

Originally by Transgender Support:

“California is now home to the nation’s first ever large-scale program to help transgender people find jobs. The goal of the new California Transgender Workplace Project is to eat away at the unemployment rate for trans people, which is twice the rate of other Americans. The numbers are even worse for trans people of color.”

Click here to read more about the Californian restaurant making it their business to hire transgender staff

 

Parents at age four

Oh.my…

Izzy does a full day at kindy of Mondays and Fridays (9-3) and I am just loving hearing from her teacher about the day because it illuminates the change in Izzy’s confidence and behavior.

Today I saw photos of Izzy and two of her afternoon buddies, pretending to be pregnant!  They have balls, or balloons stuffed up their dress/tops and one of the boys in the game is showing Izzy how she needs to lean back and stick her belly our.

So cute!

Apparently they played for half an hour and had a fantastic time.  They did lie down for a bit, the baby was supposed to come, but it didn’t.  Not fully baked I guess 🙂