“How do you feel when your daddies call you a boy?”
The world froze for a moment, I stared at my 3 year old. Our 3 year old had been saying they were not a boy and not a girl for a few months now, but I had thought/hoped maybe it was a game, it didn’t really matter, we still had time before gender became A Thing. “Sad.” I was struck by my own hubris, hoping that if we’d raised a child without limits the words wouldn’t matter for at least a few more years. I wondered what the hell gender is that a 3 year old can have dysphoria despite full freedom to wear and act and play. I thank my lucky stars that we still haven’t seen physical dysphoria. So many voices ran through my head, speaking out in pain and fear. Statistics on depression and joblessness and suicide. Parents who got CPS called on them for allowing a transgender child to be themself.
The world started again.
I apologized. I promised we’d stop. My kid went back to playing.
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.