Thank You, Mom

For standing over my crib in the middle of the night, feeding me a bottle, even though you were barely able to hold yourself up because you were sick with the flu… thank you. You never had time off or sick leave. Fortunately for your family, you had the work ethic of an aircraft engineer.

Mom - holding me

Mom holding me on a family trip, circa 1976

For having the foresight to realize the importance of early childhood education through play, and for sending me to Mother’s Morning Out a couple days a week at Mrs. Hague’s preschool… thank you.  Continue reading

Victims of Bullying Don’t Need To Change, Bullies Do

Re-published at The Huffington Post

Recently I had PTK surgery on my eye to fix recurrent corneal abrasions due to an underlying condition. A day later I had my post-op appointment, and everything went exceedingly well. Since I still couldn’t drive yet, my husband Matt had to bring me and our youngest son Charlie decided to tag along. After my post-op appointment (which was out of town, took an hour longer than we expected, and we were all starving afterwards), Charlie asked if we could go to IHOP for brunch. It was just Matt, me, and Charlie since our older son Jack was in the mountains with friends for spring break, and our daughter Kate was spending her spring break in driving school.

So, we went with intentions of having a nice, relaxing, casual brunch, just the three of us – a rare special occasion. Besides, successful eye surgery was something to celebrate, considering my extreme phobia of anything coming remotely close to my eyes. Continue reading

Are Trans Women Really Women? Why Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Answer Matters

Ah, semantics. If ever there was a case for the importance of words and their intended, assumed, or literal meanings, it is this story. In case you haven’t yet heard, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a world-renowned, award-winning Nigerian author and feminist, was recently interviewed by Cathy Newman for the UK’s Channel 4 News and asked if she thought trans women were really women. Specifically, Ms. Newman asked, “…does it matter how you’ve arrived at being a woman – I mean, for example, if you’re a trans woman who grew up identifying as a man, who grew up enjoying the privileges of being a man, does that take away from becoming a woman? Are you any less of a real woman?” In short, Adichie’s answer was, “My feeling is trans women are trans women.”

Notice she didn’t say, “trans women are women.” (If you want to hear just the quote in question, skip to approx. the 2:44 mark).

Adichie went on to explain how if you’ve lived Continue reading

Misogyny: Do Americans Really Hate Women?

About two years ago, Target stores decided to make a radical, positive change in the way they marketed their toys, home, and entertainment departments. A news release announced they were “ditching” gender labels. They were going to accomplish this by doing away with gender suggestions on signs, as those seemed to be antiquated relics in a society that is ever growing upwards in its quest to understand, empathize with, and embrace the non-binary construct of gender. Continue reading

Rainbow Kids: Don’t Quit. We’re Fighting For You

Republished on The Huffington Post 

Dear Trans Kids,

I’m writing to you, but not just to you. I’m also writing to all the rainbow kids, whatever you call yourselves, however you identify. I am writing to you as an American-born, white, straight, cisgender, liberal Christian mother of three with a good education, a good job, three good kids, and a good husband. What do I have to offer you? My unconditional love and my unwavering support in a battle for your rights – a battle that with “45” in office is only just beginning.

You don’t know me, but I’ve been advocating for you for the past nine years.

My youngest child is a boy who Continue reading

Birthday Blues and a Review

On Tuesday, Charlie turned 11. This should’ve been a joyful day, but I could tell something was wrong when he got up. He seemed distant. We went to school and went on with our days. Matt came for Charlie’s lunch at school and we all sat together with a good friend that Charlie picked. Matt brought McDonald’s and cupcakes with neon colored frosting. When it was time to pass out cupcakes, Charlie and his friend gave one to everybody in the class, but Charlie did not want one. Very strange. They took the rest of them upstairs to share with the teachers. We hugged goodbye and I Continue reading

The Silver Lining of They/Them

Today on the way home from school Charlie was telling me how lately at recess, he has started asking his friends to use “they/them” pronouns for him from now on (so I’ll start doing that here, too, though I’m sure I’ll fumble a bit). This led to classmates saying, “Nuh-uh! You’re a boy and you know it!” And just general stuff like that.

Charlie was asking me how to respond to those things. I said, “I would take that as a great learning opportunity. You can really educate people on Continue reading

Dear America, It Gets Better. Love, North Carolina

Republished at The Huffington Post

Dear America,

We know. Catching clips of that inaugural address was painful. You tried to erase the doom-and-gloom “American carnage” idea on which Trump waxed poetically, only to see the clips of his CIA press conference the next day quickly melt down into: “How ’bout my speech, huh? Did you like my speech?! How ’bout my numbers?! ME, ME, ME! LOOK AT ME!”

But then news started pouring in regarding Continue reading

Farewell, Obama


Photo credit: AP

Today I woke up in a new America, as President Obama prepared to leave the oval office for the last time. It seemed no coincidence that both my husband and I slept restlessly all night, waking up every hour on the hour, having indigestion, tossing and turning. It was the last night we would go to bed knowing that we had a President who would fight for the greater good of all the people. When we finally woke up after a fitful night, there was a steady, light pouring rain, as if God himself opened up the clouds to weep.

Our democracy is in distress.

Us bleeding heart liberals consoled ourselves with Continue reading