There’s No ‘Right’ Way To Be Trans: 5 Things Parents Need To Know

“Insistent, persistent, and consistent.”

Parents of trans kids are typically familiar with this trinity of words; they’ve been considered the guiding principals in determining whether a child is actually transgender, or just going through some sort of phase. When parents rush to the internet, often frantically, searching for resources because their child is showing or telling them that they are different from their sex assigned at birth, the “insistent, persistent, and consistent” mantra shows up more often than not. Those words are the foremost, foundational concept that research regarding trans youth has built upon (considering not much research on trans youth – specifically, the Gender Affirmative Model – really became more available until around 2013). Continue reading

Holiday Letter 2017

Another Christmas has come and gone – this one so quick I’m left dizzy in its aftermath. Didn’t finish the Christmas baking. Didn’t finish the cleaning and reorganizing I’d hoped to accomplish. Didn’t do any writing, as planned, with a solid week off from work. But now, I’m taking a moment to sit down and attempt to catch up at least a little, before I take my daughter to the threshold of hell the mall to spend her Christmas gift cards. Continue reading

#MeToo: A “Very Special Time?”

Sad depressed woman from backIn the midst of the #MeToo movement (which Trump bizarrely dubbed “a very special time” for women), we are seeing two types of men emerge: “guilty,” or “innocent.” (The quotations are there because I have a tiny amount of skepticism with a few people on each side, as much as I hate to admit that). I can’t wrap my head around why the movement finally sprouted wings when Hollywood superstar Alyssa Milano took it to Twitter. Though most people had no idea, #MeToo was originally started over ten years ago by black social activist, Tarana Burke. Regardless, it is now like nothing our generation has ever seen before. Milano had merely hoped to give a sense of the magnitude of the problem, if only every woman who’d ever been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote #MeToo as their status. Burke wanted something more than a viral trend, but was happy to see the cause finally getting the attention it deserved. Continue reading

The Kind Of Racism You Don’t Even Know You Have

Also published on Medium, with audio version available to Medium members.

Look, I get it. I totally understand your reluctance to discuss racism. I know that even hearing the words racism or worse, racist, feels accusatory – offensive, even. I hear you saying, “I’ve never personally owned a slave; why should I be held responsible for things that happened so long ago?” I also know how much you hate it when people “play the race card” to take away things you deserved, like that job promotion. I mean, since Affirmative Action discriminates against white people, that is reverse racism, right?

I get it. I get it because I used to think like that, too.

I never thought of myself as a racist. I’d always had black friends. I grew up adoring Michael Jackson and Prince. The Cosby kids, Gary Coleman… all staples of my youth. I revered the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., I hoped to have the bravery and fortitude of Rosa Parks. I voted for President Obama, twice. How could I be complicit in any kind of racism, and furthermore, why was I being held accountable for it? The cognitive dissonance was strong.  Continue reading

One Year Under A Trump Presidency

One year ago last night in the mountains of NC, on a mini vacation we’d been hoping to make for years, my husband and I sat at our cozy dinner, in silence. Above the small, roaring fireplace next to our table was a big screen TV, monitoring the 2016 election results as they rolled in. State after state turned red and projected Donald Trump as the potential winner. I looked around, contemplating asking for another table, but TVs were everywhere, and they were all broadcasting the same thing. Five years of anticipation and planning for our 3rd, private, without kids getaway in 17 years of marriage had led up to this moment, and I felt disgusted. Continue reading

Thoughts And Prayers Are Meaningless Without Action

Sunday, November 5th at 11:20 a.m., a deranged white man donning all black, a ballistic vest, and an assault rifle casually walked into the First Baptist Church in small town Sutherland Springs, TX. There, he opened fire on the unsuspecting congregation as they were waiting for the Sunday sermon to begin. Devin Kelley managed to kill 26 people between the ages of 5 and 72, and he injured 20 more. With this act of domestic terrorism, we now have the largest mass shooting in the history of both the state of Texas, and in a place of worship. 

As details emerged throughout the day on Monday Nov. 6th, we learned that Kelley was 26 and twice married.Though a motive wasn’t yet named for his actions at that time, Kelley reportedly had a domestic situation with his mother-in-law, a member of First Baptist Church. He had previously served in the air force before being court-martialed in 2012 on one count of assaulting his wife, and another count of assault on their young child. Continue reading

Rules For Halloween

Another Halloween has come and gone, leaving us almost within reach of the big feasting holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, but still with enough left over trick-or-treating candy to bridge the gap. For the past couple of years (aside from enjoying the pieces nobody wants) I’ve done some post-Halloween reflecting. It is, after all, a great opportunity to practice developing social skills in real life, and I’ve enjoyed watching my own three kids evolve over the years. They’ve gone from shy, scared, young tots too afraid to utter “trick-or-treat” to confident young people who prefer handing out candy over receiving it, for the most part.  Continue reading

“Me Too” – Experiencing Sexual Harassment And Assault

It started out innocently enough. I didn’t drink a lick of alcohol in high school, or even during my first attempt at college. Every night my suitemates chided me for not joining them at The Mill, an historic landmark where everyone in our small college town partied. I had no good reason, aside from my sporadic social anxiety. That, and I just didn’t want to drink.

Later that winter, there were circumstances that led to my dropping out of college. Dealing with emotional baggage, I ended up sleeping at my parents’ house and needing to make some Continue reading

Today’s Bizarre White House Press Briefing, Annotated

Today’s White House press briefing opened with Sarah Huckabee Sanders reading another reverent letter from a kid to Trump (which always sound more like something written by a Trump staffer than a kid), and things just went downhill from there.

Seven-year-old MacKenzie, of Dalton, Georgia was today’s enthusiastic Trump supporter. “I think you’re awesome,” she wrote, “in fact, I voted for you in my school election.”  Continue reading

Our TGNC Journey: Middle School, 6 1/2 Weeks In

Today’s post is coming from a place of deep hope, because my hope has been renewed, and therefore, I hope maybe my story can do the same for some of you parents who are struggling with gender noncomforming or trans children. For as many posts as I make public on my blog, or publish at HuffPost, Medium, Scary Mommy, and elsewhere, there are quadruple that amount of posts I’ve written that are just sitting on my desktop in my unpublished drafts — unpublished, because they’re not stories to share today, and many are Continue reading