During the course of having gone (very) wide with my story, I have met (mostly virtually) many people along the way. I get emails from strangers nearly every day; some are transgender themselves, others are attempting to parent a transgender child and others still are just compassionate human beings (and some are all three!) For their own particular reason, they are interested in the evolution of Jessie and the trials and tribulations inherent in such a dramatic transition. I like to lend an ear, offer support and remind them of the mantra that I (try desperately to) adhere to: “you can do this.”
Today I received the following email from LNB, the parent of three children, one of whom simply doesn’t fit into any gender clearly:
I imagine you may have already seen this TED video, but if not, I am privileged to be the first to share it with you!
In fact, I had not seen it, although vaguely recall having heard about this incredible story. I then spent 18 minutes and 18 seconds watching it, as enraptured as I’ve ever been while watching anything and feeling enormous appreciation at her having sent it my way.
This is a wild adventure. Just today, I was speaking with a mother from my neighborhood that looked vaguely familiar as our children had gone to the same elementary school although none in the same grade. She knew Harrison but asked me about “my other children” which, as it invariable does, lead to the question as to whether it was a boy or a girl. (Aside: I hate this question. I feel that no matter how I answer I am in some way lying…) Since she had been at the same school, I assumed she knew the story and introduced myself as the mother of the transgender kid at school. After an awkward pause she said, (and I am not making this up) “how did that happen?” In a moment of quick wit (and gratitude that said wit did not elude me at that moment) I responded, “Just lucky.”
I want her to watch this video. I want everyone to watch this video. I actually think that video should be somehow required watching for anyone who ever deals with kids. Or adults. Or anyone in the human race.
Find a time that you have 18 minutes and 18 seconds to devote to sitting in front of your computer screen or iPad or Kindle or Smartphone or any other electronic device on which you can see it. Watch it. I dare you not to be moved, provoked and/or want to watch it again. Go ahead. Watch it now. Let me know what you think. I will tell you what I think: fabulous.