Today’s Meme: Feel Free To Trust Parents Of Trans Kids. Please.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve answered the same, tired questions, over and over again, from misinformed people who have no experience with trans people. I mean, I don’t at all mind answering questions that come from a place of good intentions. That’s not always the case, though. Especially online, where there lives an entire community of boring, predictable evil-doers known collectively as “trolls.” They’re easy to spot. They’re the ones who use obvious trigger words and phrases to try and hook their victims readers, and then engage them in never-ending circular arguments that generally spiral into slanderous insults. Trolls deliberately intend to hijack, disrupt, attack, offend, and just generally cause trouble, and their favorite haunt is the comments sections of social media and news sites.  Continue reading

PSA: ‘Transgender’ Is Not A Sexual Orientation

Letter T - Magnolia Boxwelve minutes had passed. As I sat in the waiting room with the electronic intake forms (conveniently located on an iPad, inside of what appeared to be a dog-proof case), I began sinking further into the corner of the comfy leather couch. I yawned. It was too warm in this doctor’s office, and I was feeling sleepier by the second. I glanced at my phone. 8:45 a.m.

“I’ve been completing forms for 15 minutes,” I thought. “There’s nothing else left to cover.” 

As I continued straining to remember which family member — paternal grandmother, paternal grandfather, maternal grandmother, maternal grandfather — had which type of heart condition, cancer, or cholesterol, or thyroid problems, my name was finally called, as always, last name mispronounced.  Continue reading

Gun Violence: Blame Toxic Masculinity

Also published here at Medium. 

It’s not a “mental health” issue. It’s toxic masculinity. 

Friday, May 18, 2018, another school shooting happened – this time in Santa Fe, Texas, just three months after the Parkland, FL massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The death toll at Santa Fe High School in Texas was 10, with 10 others wounded. One of the most compelling moments in the wake of this tragedy was, for me at least, a statement made by this student at the 1:13 mark that was captured during interview:

The interviewer asks Paige Curry, a student at Santa Fe High School, “Was there a part of you that was like, this isn’t real; this would not happen in my school?” Without hesitation, she replies, “no, there wasn’t.” When asked “why so?” Paige simply answers, “its been happening everywhere. I’ve always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here, too… so, I don’t know. I wasn’t surprised, I was just scared.” 

I wasn’t surprised.

Let that sink in. Continue reading

Changing Our Social Landscape: The “New” Faces Of Trans & Genderqueer People

Also published at Medium

No, they’re not new per se. What’s new is how we’re seeing their faces more broadly, as symbolic sledgehammers of society, breaking down walls that have for decades stood in the way of authenticity.

Jacob TobiaJeffrey MarshHarry James HansonHunter SchaferCJCharlie. Get to know these (and hundreds more like them) as the lovely human beings they are. These gifted souls are Continue reading

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

My Child Is “They,” And It’s Society, Not Language, That Needs Fixing

Originally published on Medium

Before anyone asks, no, I’m not some sort of new age, millennial, hipster chic parent living in a commune, attempting to raise genderless, nameless offspring who will one day grow up and decide these things independent of their father and me. We learned all three of our kids’ sexes via ultrasound and we planned accordingly. I dressed my boys in blue, my girl in pink.

I’d always hoped to have a child of each gender. And God, in only God’s divine way, was brilliant enough to give me one of each: a cisgender male born in 2000 named Jack, a cisgender female born in 2002 named Kate, and a few years later, when my third and last child was born, well, God threw all caution to the wind and decided to confuse everyone and Continue reading

Governor McCrory: My “Boy in a Dress” is Not a Predator

Governor Pat McCrory of N.C. is at it again. His camp released another TV ad yesterday (9/7/16) posing the rhetorical question, “Are we really talking about this?” The question came on the coattails of his claim that while he was “busy raising average teacher pay, creating new jobs and cutting taxes, other folks were actually pushing to make our schools allow boys to use the girls’ locker rooms and showers.”

Yes, Pat. I’m going to go ahead and answer your rhetorical question. We are still talking about this – a conversation that you began.

McCrory actually has a captive, scrutinizing audience with me because I happen to both 1.) work in the public school system, where he falsely persuades North Carolinians to think he has been raising teacher pay averages (but what he doesn’t say is that his “teacher pay average” averages in all school staff, including administration), and 2.) I’m the parent of a little boy who wears dresses. So I’m listening, Pat. You’re talking directly to me. And yes, I will continue to “really talk about this” – the conversation that you started.

While McCrory’s latest ads and interviews seem to be slyly excluding the phrasing about multiple occupancy public restrooms, referring instead mostly to locker rooms and shower facilities, “the bathroom bill” is still the underlying theme playing on the fears of the uninformed. Lest we forget, when they made HB2 into law a few months back, McCrory and his people dubbed it “The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, officially called An Act to Provide for Single-sex Multiple Occupancy Bathroom and Changing Facilities in Schools and Public Agencies” aka, “The Bathroom Bill.”

Just this summer, at a town hall meeting in Cary, NC on August 26, McCrory said, “I don’t think our principals and our superintendents should be subjected to allowing a boy who thinks he’s a girl, but is still a boy, to be able to enter a locker room shower or bathroom facility. It’s a respectful disagreement, but it’s not a disagreement that I should be disrespected for having.”

I’ll just leave that one alone. Kick it around in your brain for a while and you’ll get a headache.

On July 22, the NBA announced its decision to pull the 2017 All-Star game out of North Carolina in protest of HB2. To this, McCrory responded on a talk-radio show, “I strongly disagree with their decision. To put it bluntly, it’s total P.C.B.S. … it’s an insult to our city, and an insult to our state.” He further announced that he believes the NBA is practicing “selective outrage.”

One could take this in many directions, but probably the worst part is where McCrory declares that transgender people wanting equal rights is analogous with being “politically correct.” He questions, “does the desire to be politically correct outweigh our children’s privacy and safety?” Well, Pat, it’s actually not political correctness to believe that LGBTQ+ youth shouldn’t be bullied at school. It’s not political correctness to believe that we should offer these kids protections that we would expect all of our kids to have. Besides, federal court has already ruled that HB2 violates federal law, and has since blocked UNC from enforcing provisions. Hell, even the Governor can’t enforce his law in his own mansion, as several transgender female advocates have used the Ladies Room there in plain sight of security guards with no issue.

People are leaving the state in droves because of Governor McCrory. I’m choosing to stay put. I will not let this man chase me out of my beloved home state. I’m staying to see him led out of office and replaced by someone who can begin to repair and restore the state that I love so much. I’d also like to address McCrory directly. Lord knows I’ve already sent enough e-mails that go unanswered, so, what the heck? I’ll just focus my energy blogging about it instead. So, here goes:

Pat McCrory, I am sickened by your continued use of phrases like “a boy who thinks he’s a girl, but is still a boy,” or one of your other favorites, the infamous “boys in dresses” description that you give to legitimate transgender people. Pat, allow me to direct you to a little education. We’ll call it Transgender 101. Lesson one is simple: Transgender girls are girls. They are not “boys in dresses.” But to really understand transgender people, or Native American “two-spirit” people, or gender non-conforming people is much deeper than that. We’ll save that for another day. Right now, the issue I have with raising a young, impressionable, gender non-conforming boy, is why do you feel the need to use and repeat the phrase ad nauseam, “boys in dresses?” Why not “girls in pants?” I’ll tell you why not. Because the assumption of blockheads like you, Pat, is that ALL boys are predators, and women are meek, lowly figures who need protection at all costs, especially in public restrooms and locker room facilities.

My husband and I were blessed with one of each type of child: a cisgender 16-year-old male, a cisgender 14-year-old female, and a gender non-conforming 10-year-old boy who prefers all things sparkly, pink, frilly, and soft. He is on a journey right now. In fact, he has been all of his life. He is sorting through his gender identity and right now he identifies as neither male nor female, but some combination of both. It’s a notion I wouldn’t expect you to understand (I can hear you right now saying, “bless his heart, he’s so confused”) but actually, my husband and I see this as a gift, and so does he. There is no confusion. Regardless, because he’s a gender-bender, my son is actually one of those “boys in dresses” that you keep taunting, and I’d like you to know that he is the exact opposite of a predator. Anyone who knows my son will vouch for his peaceful, loving, accepting spirit, and avoidance of confrontation. In fact, with this climate you’ve recently created, he’s so scared for his own safety right now that he doesn’t even use either restroom in public. He looks for gender neutral, or family bathrooms so that he can avoid confrontation of any kind.

I promise you, Pat, when my gender non-conforming child actually works up his nerve to wear one of his beloved dresses in public, HE is the one who has to fear for his safety. Because you, Governor McCrory, are only interested in protecting a minuscule fraction of society (women whom you perceive as needing some sort of predator protection in public accommodations), you don’t protect the greater good; you don’t seem to understand that a transgender man who opts not to have bottom surgery (that means having a penis built onto his body), but for all intents and purposes looks and dresses exclusively male on the outside, is now guaranteed to be in the women’s restroom, because he was born without a penis. A very masculine looking man going into the women’s room, because that’s the law. I give a sarcastic slow clap in your general direction for managing to vote IN to law exactly what you were trying to vote OUT of law.

McCrory, you have hand-fed the very ignorant monsters who perpetuate this perverted predator in the restroom myth. YOUR people are the dangerous people. Not “boys in dresses.” Boys in dresses are not yet the same thing as transgender girls, but they’re still in some stage of transformation. Boys who wear dresses in public (which is, yet again, different than “drag queens,” or “cross-dressers,” – refer back to Transgender 101, basic vocabulary) are some of the bravest, fiercest, most sincere souls walking this earth. Do you have ANY idea how much bravery it takes for a young boy to wear a dress in public? It takes balls of steel, and I’m not sure how much more “manly” it gets than that.

Pat, YOUR people are the monsters, the predators. YOUR people are the ones to fear, the ones who would laugh at, question, or have a physical altercation with my young son, or me, or his dad, because he chooses to wear a dress. And this isn’t even happening in public bathrooms. The damage he endures happens out in public, in broad daylight.

Pat, you have no idea what you’re doing. You are completely blind to the irony of the situation you have created, when just months ago, no one was the wiser, and transgender people peed beside cisgender people all along. No true, harmful incidents have ever occurred because some man decided to slap on a dress in order to peep in women’s stalls. Despite your law, which is completely unenforceable, “peeping” is a totally separate issue, and is still a crime, regardless of who’s doing it.

My husband and I cannot flush you and your legacy down the toilet fast enough at the polls this season.




My gender non-conforming son is growing his hair out long so that he can put it into a braid.

Why I Refuse to Apologize for My Son Wearing a Dress

(originally published on The Huffington Post)

Transgender: The American “hot button” du jour. Even as I type this article, Dr. Phil is on the TV in the background, interviewing a man who is sobbing over the pain he feels with his adult son transitioning to female. He feels that “someone has got him;” that “something has come over” his son. He absolutely cannot accept his son as anything other than male.

He is shaking and seething as Dr. Phil says, “We’re going to soon meet ‘Steph’,” (the man’s trans daughter, who wishes to debut as her “authentic self” on national TV). Earlier today, Kathie Lee & Hoda were answering viewer’s questions on gender stereotypes, discussing gender non-specific toys, as if this were the latest politically correct semantics dance, a passing hoopla for which we should get on board if we want to appear “social savvy.”

If I could have one wish granted right now, it would be Continue reading