My daughter has become a handsome young man

The train started moving slowly from the platform at Manchester Piccadilly. I sat by the window seat of the quiet carriage, looking out. I could not see anything, my eyes were clouded with tears. I had left my child behind. The last month was a whirlwind of emotions and learning in my personal journey with my new child. My daughter had become a handsome young man.

I had gone through all the emotions of any other mother when I first got to know that my child is in transition. Shock, sadness, anger, denial and all the plethora of emotions. I have always considered myself an ally of the LGBT community. Yet, when it came to me, I struggled to come to terms with it. I was worried how my family and the society at large would react to it. I was apprehensive if they would shun my child. I was worried as to who would be there for him once I was gone?

When my child came out 7 years ago (at the age of 20), I admit, I was scared and stayed in the comfort of my denial for some time. But, in the process, I realized that we were drifting apart. It dawned on me that I had to do something for the both of us. I understood the fact that my child would also be going through a struggle like me, but in a different way, because along the road, I realized that this is not a matter of choice. This is something my child feels very strongly about him.

I decided to take a trip to the UK where my child resides, and travel with him on his life’s journey. My child had come to pick me up from the airport. The moment I saw him, I hit the panic button. Hair cut short, a little mush, stubble on his cheeks. No more the signs of my daughter. I kept gazing at him through-out the taxi drive home, trying to fathom where my child had gone. I was looking at somebody totally different.

As I had decided, I visited his work, his friends and the places he frequents. I saw a different side of life which was an eye opener for me. I got more hugs than I have ever received in my life, from his friends, from his community. I had kids cry on my shoulder for the mere fact that I was a ‘mom’. The kids who have been disowned, shunned, or thrown out. My heart went out to them.

Surprisingly, I discovered that my child, whom I raised, had not gone anywhere. He remained strong, confident, kind and level headed. He had only changed in appearance. More than that, I realized that the amount of courage it has taken for my child to ‘come out’ would have been enormous. I felt so proud and felt a newfound respect for him. I understood that my child is much happier than who he was before. I was at peace that the community that he is in, are so close that they would do anything for each other, as family would. I understood the responsibility of being the mother of a trans kid. I have started telling friends and relatives about my child. My feelings are not in any way dependent on the community at large any more. This is who my child is and this is who ‘he’ will remain as.

Another factor that silenced my mind is reading a lot of literature on ‘Gender and Sexuality’ and attending conferences pertaining to the same. I wanted to learn more from other parents who are on the same side and it is with this intention that I joined ‘Sweekar’. Even though I am a new entrant, I am amazed and happy at the support and collective effort that the parents put up for each other. I am glad to have found this organization, even though it is a bit late.