January 10, 2012
As I have told many of you, Jessie has been dying to take a gymnastics class. I have been in knots about it knowing that after the age of 5, all gymnastics classes are divided boy/girl. Jessie, as I am sure you have surmised, wanted to be in the girls’ class. What to do?
After much obsessing, nocturnal waking and general angst, I finally mustered up the courage/energy/nerve to stop over at Exxcel and just lay it out and see where we land. The moment I walked in the building I felt my body temperature rising. Two very nice middle aged women (it somehow made me feel better that they were at least my age) asked if I needed help with anything. I resisted the urge to tell them just how many things I indeed need help with and just came right out and said it, “I have a transgender child (male to female) who is dying to take gymnastics…can you help me?” They exchanged glances (read: (and I say this with no judgement) “phew, thank God it’s not me) and started into thinking. Off to the side was a young coach who was aware not of the details of the conversation, but of the hushed tones. One of the first women turned to the coach and said, “any thoughts?”. The coach, after being brought up to speed, and without batting an eye or hesitating for a moment said, “put her in the girls’ class” as though it was the least controversial thing she had to face all day. I literally felt my shoulders drop. I’m not sure, but I may have thrown myself over the desk and hugged her, but, again, the memory is hazy.
We found a class that works for everyone and are going to do the trial class tomorrow. But wait, there is more.
As I drove off, headed to Modell’s to properly outfit Jessie (imagine my relief when they told me that shorts and a tank are the outfit of choice in this group. I was a more than a little concerned about the leotard issue. For obvious reasons. You know, the whole penis thing) when a new concern thudded down on me: what if there was a kid in the class who knows George, but doesn’t go to his school and, therefore, doesn’t know that he is now Jessie? I had visions of needing to call very peripheral people in our lives to share the transformation in an effort to avoid any issues on the mats. I called back and managed to persuade them to break the rules of confidentiality and tell me who was in the class. Not a single name I recognized. Score!
I then did a little damage at Modell’s which was woefully understocked with items that it seems are in abundance every single other time I have ever been there – like Sofee shorts and ribbed tanks. Okay, I threw in some really cute socks which Jessie and I can share, too. (Let the games begin)
I think this is what is considered a small victory. For me, however, it was a huge hurdle.
Thanks for your unending support and let me know if I am barraging you with more information than you care to hear.