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When you feel the love

I dunno if it’s just the medication, lol, but I have been FEELING THE LOVE lately!

On Sunday Harry took the kids down to our local volcano (ah yeah!  You read that right, we have a local volcano) for a pre-beach walk.  Now when my kids go out they kinda like to dress like they’re going to a Halloween party, that’s just their thing.  So Izzy had on a princess dress we bought last week for $2 in a garage sale.  Freddie wore an old skirt of mine that mum took in for him (this is sounding familiar???  I might have mentioned Freddie’s skirt in a previous post, but I’m already juggling dinner prep standing at the kitchen bench banging this out, while the kids have their allotted time of Sophia the First, so I daren’t waste a minute browsing my old posts for a sneaky link), a pink dress shirt, bow tie (silver) and a hooded dressing gown in wizard blue.  They were looking all kinds of spesh walking along the road.  So anyway this big ol’, very desirable, four wheel drive pulled up next to them, the window lowered to reveal a couple looking admiringly at the kids.  Apparently our kids “charmed”them.  Our kids?  And they explained that they were getting ready to move to the country and in cleaning out their attic discovered a huge pile of dress ups that once belonged to their daughters, now teenaged, and would we like to have them?  Strangers!  Never met them before!  So Izzy and I went round yesterday after kindy and wow!  Walked away with a wonderful pile of amazing outfits.  Felt the love man!

Then, in anticipation of the first day of school, I emailed Freddie’s new teacher letting her know about the autism and giftedness and also that Freddie may well rock up to school in a skirt (he did) and bow tie (he didn’t, choose an old work tie of Harry’s, which I’m sure dates back to the late 90’s).  Well, she came right back to me with the love.  Primary school is a wonderful, safe environment for children to express themselves through their clothing she wrote, she shared a personal story that made me just feel like – yup, we’re in good hands.  And I say we because to me our school is much more than a place to drop my kid off for learning, it’s a place that nourishes them, that reaches out to involve the family and whanau (extended family) and nourishes them too.  

Each year I get better at shaking off that feeling.  That feeling of not wanting to stand out.  Not wanting to be a parent that is overbearing, overwhelming and over involved.  Each year I have to consciously tell myself that this is just a feeling.  That it’s ok and welcomed to bring issues up with the school, it’s ok and welcomed to ask to be heard.  It’s good to make your presence known.  I find it hard to do that, but the rewards when you do step out of your comfort zone are enormous.  Or they have been in my experience anyway.  So totally felt the love with Freddie’s new teacher.

Got a whole lotta love walking in to kindy today!  Witnessing Val and each of the teachers greeting Izzy filled me up with peace, joy and happiness.  I mean, you couldn’t ask for warmer more sincere greetings.  And seeing Izzy’s head held high, exuding self confindence as she walked through those gates presented me with a moment to love not only her, and Val, and the teachers, but myself.  Myself for being her mum and being part of the group of people who surround her that have brought this self confindence back in to her life.  We’ve worked hard since Izzy’s transition, to bring about this very moment.  This moment when she arrives with head held high.  I really felt it today.

Then there’s the big old serve of love in a quick catch up chat with Freddie’s old teacher.  You couldn’t find a person with more love to give.  Seriously!  This teacher has her kids names inked up on the window (I’m assuming she’s totally used washable marker cause she’s a mum and a teacher and pretty smart), and I was having a nosy over her shoulder while we chatted, wondering which little gems she has in there this year.  I spotted two or three names, and that’s when the love hit – these kids are going to get the love and care my kid got from her last year, she is just the teacher they need and shucks, it’s such a good feeling when you see kids getting what they need right?  So that was a big old love up right there.

Then there was the text from Lou.  Lou of the unflappable (u can read about her here in a post I wrote way back called Unflappable).  She said her son thought Freddie’s tie was cool.  Love.

All that is needed to top this love fest off is a glass of wine!

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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.

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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.

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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:).