I was going to school for the first day as Amelia and of course I couldn´t dress all feminine. I just chose to wear these pants which are tighter than the ones I used to wear before. When mom dropped me there, I panicked and ran away. I just couldn’t do it! It felt like a tsunami coming at me that I couldn’t avoid the monster that wanted to eat me alive.
I wanted to call my friends to leave the school and rescue me, but none of my cisgender friends would understand. Yes, my close friends know and support me, but they don’t know what it feels like to transition. Damned Kate! Why aren’t you in my school? But wait, think out of the box, I´ll call Kate anyway!
“Hey relax, start breathing deeply, repeat several times,” she said. “I´m here; take it easy, just keep breathing, I´m not going anywhere.” I started feeling better very soon, I didn’t know that breathing was so helpful when you’re scared. “Listen, I´m just walking out of my school, can we meet at the shopping mall? Let’s spend the morning together; sound good?” It sounds great, thank you!
When I saw Kate, I started crying and we hugged. “Hey girl, I´ve got you, it’s ok,” she said. “What made you run away?” Well, I explained, my mom had a difficult meeting with the school staff and they didn’t seem to get it, like, at all! How can I expect them to protect me if they think it is just a phase like they told my mom?
“Well, yes, that’s worrying, but they aren´t the whole world. Even if they fail you, there are solutions for that. No rush, take it easy. Do you want tea or something? It’s cold! Let’s sit over there and just relax for a while.”
Kate told me the story of how she started her social transition and how some people were against it, but she’s been able to handle it. Kate is far from being through her transition and says that even though isn’t always seen as a girl, she has to start somewhere, just like me. It’s amazing how confident she walks in the world, and I asked her how she does it.
She asked, “do you agree that you´re not doing anything wrong? That even though being trans isn’t the norm out there, but it doesn’t mean this isn’t normal, right? Listen to me carefully: People will treat you the way you expect them to treat you.”
I asked how that could be, and she continued: “Attitude and body language, girl! Body language sends like 84% of the message, it’s more powerful than words! I’m trying to say that holding your ground and facing everyone with a relaxed yet firm attitude is powerful. If you stand there like you´ve done something wrong, they’ll treat you that way. People smell fear like dogs. It’s not that you go around challenging people, notice that I said ‘relaxed’, but also an attitude that conveys that you´re not someone to mess with and that you´re a cool person anyway, not a threat to anyone or anything.”
All that with my attitude?
“Oh girl, I’m just getting started, you don´t know! Don´t you love that being trans forces you somehow to be more intelligent? I´m telling you, this makes you grow!”
“I know what we can do; listen to me carefully: although there is no right or wrong way to do it, let’s strategize! Well, you could go to school tomorrow wearing a skirt and say f**k it! Sure, that´s one way to do it, but that’s not who you are. PLEASE KNOW: THERE’S NO RUSH. I know you’re dealing with dysphoria and all that, but you´ll beat it eventually; now it’s time to be smart and careful. Here…”. She took a pin with a trans flag she had on her backpack and gave it to me. “Wear it tomorrow. That’s all you’re gonna do differently, ok? Baby steps. You know the magic behind it?”
I was clueless…
“They don´t know If you´re supporting the cause, or if you´re trans or what. Just check out their reactions and take it from there”.
Kate got my head spinning for the rest of the afternoon…
I’m a mother lioness who´ll defend her cub! At Amelia’s school, I made it very clear that they don’t want to mess with us. The school psychologist was there, don’t they teach them about gender identity in college? Later, I urgently called Dr. Stewart and he helped me calm down and explained that, sadly, gender-affirming care is far from part of the curriculum. In fact, parents who have the bad luck of finding one of those psychologists first, have a really bad time, because they are either scared by their opinion or plainly sent in the wrong direction.
He explained to me that there are phases for everything and that these first steps are normally very scary for trans families. He didn’t deny that this is bulls*hit, which I appreciated because it really is. It’s one thing to read about it or talk to a gender-affirming doctor, and another is to face opposition from people who are clueless about what they’re saying.
I also called Megan, the friendly mom from the parents’ organization. She said that it’s understandable that I put them in their place, but some people don’t know how to react, especially if they´re unprepared. This is huge for schools, it’s a real hot button issue because they see themselves caught between you and opposing parents, let alone all the anti-trans efforts to pass laws and misinform the public.
This anti-trans movement is hurting families, kiddos, and even well-meaning specialists who just want to help. I´ve been forced to educate myself on the topic and understand their reasons because I have to protect my family. Those hypocrites really don’t care about morality or protecting anyone, they want power and votes, that’s it! The trans community was just an easy target and they’re using the oldest strategy in the world of creating a villain, shaking things up, and promoting hate against an incredibly small group of people who can hardly defend themselves.
There are business tycoons investing money into this disinformation campaign, which for sure is going to gain them some political and monetary favors in the future, but the trans community doesn’t have the financial resources to fight it legally, so many anti-trans laws remain unchallenged. It’s an unfair fight. They coin phrases like “the trans agenda” when the only agenda is to be left alone and survive!
Ok, I get it, maybe the school was caught unprepared, and they need time to plan how they’re going to support us, I’ll give them that. unfortunately, it’s their responsibility to be prepared to protect my child and time is short because now Amelia is starting school again and I don’t want a problem.
That’s what’s making me so nervous; school was the trigger that made me calculate all the situations we´ll have to face in the coming days. To start with, my ex-husband isn’t supportive or understanding. Then there’s my family. My parents love Amelia with all their hearts, I wonder if love will win. If they’re not accepting, that’ll break our hearts and that’s a scary thought. I don’t even know how I (we?) will tell them, but I know Christmas is approaching.
What a brave kid I have! Yes, she ran away the first day and told me all about it, but the second day, she was a different person after that talk with her friend Kate. I’m grateful for Kate, she’s awesome! Amelia’s change in attitude was very evident. I fantasized about the idea of me being trans as a kid and if I would have been brave enough to do what Amelia is doing…I most certainly would not! Though I can never be in her shoes, I totally support her bravery.
Go to part 6…