Today was a crying day. I sort of lost my self restraint in the middle of a phone call with a stranger. Not my style generally speaking.
The stranger was the social worker with the Gender clinic I had been waiting for a week to hear back from. The Gender clinic that J is going to be able to get his puberty suppression medications through. The magic Gender clinic several hours away but worth the drive because my son J is worth the drive and a thousand times more. The Gender clinic that was going to protect my baby boy from having his body betray him and develop into some other person’s body.
I had no idea how much hope I had placed in this clinic. In this call. The call that would get J an appointment and would be the beginning of a better life for him.
Turns out, they refuse to see him until he has had 6 months of therapy for his gender “issues.”
My son isn’t sick. He is transgender.
The poor social worker sounded very young. She seemed sweet and tried to console me. “Six months isn’t that long,” she said.
Six months in a 14 year old body going through puberty feels like a life time. Right now, J has a very masculine hip to waist ratio and is not very developed in the chest. He is feeling adorable. I took a picture of him the other night and said he looked cute. He answered, “Of course, I am extremely photogenic,” and chuckled. He is more confident now than he ever has been.
Six months. What could change in his body will never be reversable. If his hips change there is no surgery to narrow them. If his chest changes his future top surgery is likely to be more complex. And he might not feel adorable.
So I burst into tears. Bawling at this stranger on the phone. I tried to stop. I couldn’t. I kept seeing the face of a young transman who committed suicide this week, his name was Ash. He looks so much like my J in the photo I saw of him.
I called a friend and she talked me down a bit. At least enough to only cry now and then on my drive home from work.
Then at dinner with the whole family, Baby Butch started telling a story about her sociology class discussing the “differences between girls and boys” and how that spiraled into students saying that boys who play with dolls are all gay.
That is when I burst into tears at the dinner table. It is just so sad sometimes. It was all just more than my heart could stand and so I wept.
We all had a long talk about the day. About the clinic. About Ash. And about the six months.
J is sad too but he promised me he would be safe and he would never hurt himself and that he loves me. He promised it all with his arms wrapped around my neck hugging me while I cried.
We will get through the six months. But damn it…why can’t people see what this does to kids?