I’m so teary eyed this morning, in my bubble there’s so much love and joy, but just outside it…
There’s a number of things jostling for position in my mind, foremost is the arrival of my beautiful niece 6 days ago.
Her mother (my youngest sister) and father estranged themselves, and their 2 year old son and daughter to be, from us shortly after we announced Izzy’s transition.
Here is an excerpt from their email letting us know they would no longer be part of our lives.
It’s been three months since we’ve received this, and I hoped it would be recanted but it’s not and now I need to let that hope go by letting it out.
I:ve changed all the names.
Hi ***** and Harry
Thanks for coming back with answers to our questions.
I now want to share with you where ##### and I are at with everything.
We still have concerns around %%%% (Izzy’s birth name) age and whether this decision is appropriate. Our personal thoughts are that a decision such as this should only be able to be made by %%%%(Izzy’s birth name) at a time when he is able to truly understand its implications. However you have made this decision for him and our concerns are for %%%% (Izzy’s birth name) and the possible mental impact that this might have should it not be the right approach. We are also concerned for Freddie around the mental impact of this as well.
We do not feel that the above is something that we can control as %%%%(Izzy:s birth name) is not our child and it seems that you have your minds made up. You believe you have done the appropriate research and chosen the best solution for your child. We could do the same amount of research and come out on the other side with the opposite approach. Is your decision wrong because it doesn’t align with what we might do? Not to you, as you truly believe it is the right approach. While we can’t impact that, we are having a hard time accepting it because of our concerns.
What we can focus on is what we can control and this is around how we choose to let this decision impact our life and the lives of our family. Our concern now is for @@@@ (their son) and for his sister. This is not around being exposed to transgenderism, which we have nothing against, but around the risk of getting to know %%%% (Izzy’s birth name) as a girl where there may be a possibility that it may have not been the right approach and may result in %%%% (Izzy:s birth name) deciding to go back to being a boy down the track. Our concerns are that this could be very confusing for our children should this happen. As you want to do the right thing by your child, we want to do the right thing by ours.
Where we have concerns is that the approach we choose will impact our children’s lives. If we decide to protect our children from the risk of exposing them to this situation and possible future reverting, it will no doubt impact much more than our relationship with %%%% (Izzy’s birth name) but with the entire family. If we decide not to allow our children to see %%%% (Izzy’s birth name)as a girl until such time that we feel he is of an age where he can truly understand the decision and that our children are at ages where they can understand, then what does this mean for family get-togethers? Will our children miss out on time with their Nana, aunties, uncles and other cousins as a result? Would it be right to go against what we feel is the right thing to do in order to smooth things over? No, because we wouldn’t be putting our children first, in the same way that you are unlikely to change your approach as a result of the opinions of others. Is it fair that our children may have to miss out as a result of a decision that we seemingly have no influence over? No.
I need to reiterate that this is not about us disagreeing with people being transgender, it is around %%%%(Izzy’s birth name) age and our concern that in our view there has not been enough assessment of him prior to turning to this approach.
At this stage we don’t know what the answer is but what we do want you to be aware of is that there have been many sleepless nights, a lot of stress and worry for both %%%% (birth name) and for Freddie They have been our primary concern. However now, upon realising that your approach is not likely to change, our concern has turned to us looking at the impact on our own lives. We are now in a situation where there is conflict at home as we decide how we want to approach things going forward, and fear what losses may come as a result of our decision. It is to the point that we are considering getting professional help in dealing with it.
I hope you see that all of this comes from a place of care. If we didn’t care, there wouldn’t be sleepless nights, heated discussions, tears, worry, questions.
Please note that I have not included mum in this response as she has expressed her wishes not to be part of this discussion.
Love from xxxxx and ######.
Despite their deep concern for my children’s mental wellbeing they’ve checked on neither in three months, not directly, through me or through anyone else.
So, although the new baby is just 15 minutes away, I’ve not met her and I don’t know when I will. This is a strange reality.
And finally, a message to my niece “If one day you read this, know that I loved you from the moment I heard you’d arrived. Know that no matter who you are, or who you become, you are loved. You are beautiful and valued just the way you are. Grow well, treat others with love and respect and never hide your light.”