2021 was the year that I became an ally. This was a difficult year with many different emotions. Shock, dismay, confusion, anger, disappointment, and the finally what should have happened first is acceptance. If you are reading this and wondering what the heck is Dad writing about, you will only get one guess as to why I’m an ally.
This is a first of a series of blog entries that I plan to write over the next few weeks about me me becoming an ally of for my transgender child. I welcome your comments, but please be respectful.
I have two daughters , and most of this blog over many years has been dedicated to writing about stuff that has happened raising them in NJ. Many of my blog posts were humorous, with touches of my own brand of humor. I was clueless that one of my children who was born a female of south asian descent and a first generation American, was going through an internal battle of being their (They/Them) true selves. We raised my daughter with the pronouns of “She/Her”. In 2021 I finally realized that pronouns do matter and we should have recognized what my daughter’s true pronouns were sooner!
Keep in mind growing up as a South Asian child in predominantly non-diverse community was difficult enough in Middletown, NJ. Being a child was going through a gender identification process during this same time was even more difficult. To add to this stress, their parents were in a difficult marriage that was falling apart while they were a teenager and in their last years in high school. All of these issues compounded one on top of each other and they were heavily affected by everything.
As many parents know, their teenagers are establishing their identity and this is displayed in their behavior. For us, we just thought we were raising a sensitive child that needed extra attention. In reality, they were not just being sensitive, they were trying to deal the multitude of emotions that compounded their own gender fluidity issues.
As a parent (and this applies to both my ex-wife and myself), we were oblivious to their feelings. While as parents, we were battling our marriage woes, we were not able to we were not opening our eyes to our child’s battle to transform themselves and the internal/external battles and the needs of our child. We were so absorbed in our own self pity and marriage battles, that we didn’t take the time to observe what our child needed. Our child needed us to hold them and support their needs!
At the beginning of 2021, I thought that the strain of the relationship with my younger daughter was because of the divorce which had occurred during the last two hears of their high school. This was only partially true. They/Them were struggling with their emotions, and they didn’t have confidence that their parents would be accepting.
Through out this blog, I keep referring to their pronouns, which is something at the beginning of 2021, I was not able/willing to understand/accept. At the beginning of this year, I never would have thought the I’d get used to speaking of my child with the pronouns of “They/Them” and celebrating their non-binary life.
It took a lot of soul searching and research to understand the needs of my child. I needed to educate myself on transgender process. Additionally, I needed to become an ally and a positive supporter in my child’s lifestyle and decision.
Why am I writing this blog today? Well, I came across a documentary a few days ago and it shook me to my core. I needed to express my thoughts in a positive manner in which, hopefully, it will bring a sense of peace to me any my family as we continue to unconditionally support my child in her transformation to a beautiful non-binary person.
Right now, I’m watching the amazing documentary “Simply Jane” on Amazon and I’m learning from every episode new things that I need to absorb and apply in my daily life as an ally.
Stay tuned, as I talk more about this process that I continue to go through as an ally and my experiences that I lived through in becoming a true ally!