“We Can’t Call You Daddy if You’re Going to be a Girl.”

Here’s this weeks blog post over at my new digs at Psychology Today.  This one’s about how my sons found a name for me, and how that moment finally helped me realize things were going to be all right.

The JFB home page at PT provides links to all the blog posts, as well as containing some highly entertaining other material.

“We Can’t Call You Daddy if You’re Going to be a Girl”
Coming out as trans was hard.  Finding a name that my sons wanted to call me was harder.
By 2002, transition was behind me. I’d been a boy, but now I was a woman. It had been a long journey, involving therapy, endocrinology, a minister, a social worker, and a trip to the large size shoe store. There were times when it seemed as if that journey–which more than anything else resembled a kind of emigration–was never going to end.

I had plenty of friends in the transgender community who suggested that it never would end, in fact; one such well wisher even sent me, on the day of my surgery, a card that said, “Now the journey really begins!” I remember putting the card aside with a feeling of exhaustion. The last thing I wanted, after everything my family had been through, was another journey.

And for the most part, that turned out to be true. As a couple, my wife and I went from a time in which we suddenly seemed, after twelve years together, like strangers, to a time in which once again we seemed familiar, if altered. I went back to work at the college and my students rolled with the changes. In time they were replaced by a new generation of students, young scholars who had never known me in the days Before.

Whatever it was I’d imagined I’d become, before I changed genders, had finally been replaced by the reality–both difficult and joyful– of what being a woman in the culture was actually going to mean.

There was one question though, that nagged at me, however, that woke me up in the middle of the night, and which caused me to lie there in the dark, unable to conjure an answer. What about the boys, a voice asked me. What about your two sons?

Now, speaking from the vantage point of my fifties–and my sons’ late teens– I know that…. (for the rest of the blog click here).

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