So in the last week there has been a lot ofmedia attention given to two stories about ‘transgender children’. One child has been removed from their mothers care and another child’s father has had an article printed in the Daily Mail about his anger at his ex wife allegedly forcing their child to dress in female clothes. When you read these stories please remember they are one point of view. They do not tell you the full story.
In essence what this has done is led me to fear even more for my family and our child. Robin came to us with questions and asked to be able to dress as a girl. We sought advice and were told to allow this and let it play out. That was 8 months ago and Robin still dresses full time in female clothes and tells us he is a girl not a boy. Who knows at this age if this is permanent but what I do know is that because of two stories given so much media attention every parent who’s child feels they want to dress in a different gender clothing is more fearful of what others are thinking.
We fight for our children’s right to feel happy and comfortable but we are portrayed as people who are forcing a child to behave and dress in a way they are not choosing. The media is feeding people’s fears of anything different from the perceived norm. I wish I could understand what people are so afraid of.
The charity Mermaids supports parents to help their children through this journey. Today’s article accuses Mermaids of bullying and interfering, from all I have seen all they have done is SUPPORT. Without Mermaids many parents would be alone, scared and confused about how to support their children. I am disappointed and saddened and in all honesty I’m scared. I’m scared that people will never understand why we are supporting Robin’s wishes and I’m scared that all it takes is one judge or newspaper to take a view and try destroy a family or a charity.
So all this rambling has a point I promise, please please remember there are multiple sides to these stories, please don’t assume the one you are reading has all the facts. I’m not pretending I have all the facts but I know my child and I have met children like Robin and they deserve better than the media portrayal that their gender issues are getting.
‘Stubborn’ is a word some people would use to describe me, I can be my own worst enemy. When I decide I’m doing something I’m doing it now not later. I’m impulsive at times and I’m impatient always. Being capable and able to do everything is important to me, I want my independence and to look after myself. It has become slowly more and more apparent that i will have to give up some of my stubborn ways. I need more help than im happy to accept and i am struggling more than i would like to admit most days and honestly it sucks.
It’s harder than i ever thought it would be to accept my limitations and any new struggle highlights the kind of future i may have.
Having a chronic illness has taken my career away, my confidence, my independence and my self worth but it has given me insight, determination and stubborness. It doesn’t tip the scales, I haven’t gained more than I have lost. I will try to see the good in all of it and I’m sure I will eventually. I’m not bitter not at all, I’m just sad. I love my family and i love my work, i dont have the energy for them both a lot of the time lately. There are big and small things I want to do and it doesn’t always feel fair that I can’t or don’t feel able to do them.
Sometimes I feel like pain runs my life it’s almost as though it defines me. It decides more of my life than I do and it decides where I go how much I can do. It’s a control freak, a master of manipulation it’s my worst enemy.
So I’m going to give in a little and accept some help, I’ll listen when I’m told I’m doing too much and I’ll try to stop being so stubborn. Instead of running backwards and forwards trying to prove I’m contributing to society I will try to enjoy my family more. It’s not giving up or giving in it’s more like accepting changes and finding peace with that.
So I have a daughter now, that’s what she tells me anyway. I am in awe of how an 8 year old can know so much about who she is, I’m 29 and I still have no idea who I really am.
I won’t pretend we welcomed this news with open arms, I was scared, scratch that I am scared. Robin is beautiful and brave but I’m not sure the world is ready for children like Robin yet. Gender is a construct in society but the majority of people associate with the gender they are born and act and dress accordingly. I have met with children younger and older than Robin who don’t conform to the gender expectations and I can say they all looked happy and healthy and well adjusted, so why is stepping outside of your birth gender so difficult? So what if they want to dress like an opposite gender, so what if they may change their minds later on. Are they hurting anyone? Are they?
I feel like every time I leave the house with Robin I’m on high alert waiting for someone to stare or say something, they don’t, most people assume Robin is a girl and don’t think twice about it. So why am I poised constantly ready to fight her corner and so worried about what other people will think.
So I’m going to take a different approach, focus on what’s important. As long as my children are happy and safe that is what I will focus on. I will try to stem the tide of fear that overwhelms me at times and love and let live. Because honestly there are worse things that could happen.