6 years ago now, I wrote an open letter to parents of gender diverse kids. It generated some response, including a few people pointing out that I wasn’t a parent. Well, I am a parent now. I’ve been a parent for 4 years. I’m the parent of a vocally non-cisgender child as well. And I’ve read over that post a few times with my evolving viewpoint.
I smile sadly and shake my head, knowing that my self from 6 years ago would be rolling their eyes at me.
I’m glad that I wrote it before having kids, I don’t think I would have been as harsh now. That would have been a disservice. It needs to be harsh. It needs to make you think. It needs to make your stomach squirm.
I now have far more sympathy for how complicated and difficult parenting can be, yes. I also believe even more strongly that parents can’t afford to be complacent when it comes to gender creative, gender variant, gender diverse, transgender kids.
We have to question ourselves, we have to face our discomfort and fear.
When we had our first baby, I was terrified to be alone with them.
I did my best to take care of the baby, but avoided being left alone with them like the plague. I couldn’t handle even a few minutes of it.
As a father, this is what a lot of people expect. I imagine many mothers reading this rolling their eyes and pursing their lips at yet another useless dad shoving his responsibility on someone else. Tale as old as time, right?
Here’s the twist: I’m the one who had given birth to that baby.
The point of this post is to make people think, so, please, only read it if you’re willing to think about it long and hard. This is a post that will upset some cis people. Maybe most. Maybe all. I suggest you read the advice on how not to be defensive when called out on transphobia before you go on if you haven’t already. Actually, just read it, it’s good advice. If you don’t think you have privilege for being cis, don’t think you could POSSIBLY be transphobic, feel that cis is offensive, or are simply unwilling to read this with an open mind- just don’t bother reading it. It’ll be a waste of your time.