The hard decision…

I was in the living room with Emma Colin yesterday, after taking our Christmas stuff down to storage, when he suddenly announced, “I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to transition or not but right now I’m leaning toward not.”

“Because you want to have kids?” I asked, even though I knew the answer. We’ve talked about it enough already and he’s been wavering on the border of transitioning or not for months now.

“Yes,” he replied. “It’s so hard to choose to transition and have kids. What if I decide I want to adopt and the agency doesn’t accept me?”

I had no answer for that. I have no idea what parameters adoption clinics have for their prospective clients. I made my kids at home, from scratch, for free. So I changed the topic slightly.

“If you decide you’re not going to transition, will you want me to stop calling you Emma and start calling you Colin again?”

He nodded then said, “It’s such a hard decision to make.”

“I bet it is,” I replied.

That’s something I never had to worry about. I’d just turned 25 years old when I had Kait and there was every expectation that if we did the deed enough (but not too much) a baby would ensue. I wasn’t worrying about infertility, sperm banks, or adoption… especially not at 20 years old. I tried to think of some way to support Colin, considering he wants both options, transitioning and a baby, pretty much equally.

“When I was trying to decide whether to leave your Dad or not, I thought a lot about if it would be fair to you and Kait. My thoughts ran round and around. Then I pictured Kait as an adult and in the same situation. Would I want her to stay or to go? The answer was unequivocally to go. Why would I treat myself worse than her? I too am someone else’s child. So you picture someone you love in your situation. And picture them struggling for an answer. The gender dysphoria isn’t going to get any better. Would you wish that on someone you love?”

“No,” he replied.

“So why would you wish it on you?”

“Because I really want kids,” he replied.

Which is where I bite my tongue. I know he wants kids but he doesn’t have them yet and I can’t bring myself to worry about kids who don’t exist. I care for and worry about him.

“I know,” I assured him. “Just remember this conversation and that if things get rough you always have more than one option.”

Later, after we’d eaten our fill of homemade tempura, I stood with Colin while he took his medicine and asked, “Do you want me to start calling you Colin now.”

He shook his head. “No, can you please keep calling me Emma?” he asked plaintively.

“Of course,” I replied. “I’ll call you that until you ask me not to.”

And now all I can do is hope that he finds an answer he can live with.

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2 thoughts on “The hard decision…

  1. That is such a tough decision to make especially when considering irreversible steps such as HRT, surgery, etc. and for a younger person like Emma (love her name!) who may want to have children. Here’s a couple of ideas (from one who is 61, is on HRT for only four months, and not sure about GCS, living full time as a woman):
    – “low dose”HRT is possible to start without irreversible sterilization as an experiment to see how it feels. Of course this should only be done under a physicians care.
    – have semen samples frozen and stored for use later.
    – embark on other steps such as dressing in public, perhaps going full time, growing hair out, etc. Sorry if this is something she’s already done. Certainly these steps may be taken to see how it feels, how important it is for Emma to be herself in the world as a woman.

    I might also suggest Dara Hoffman-Fox’s book “You and Your Gender Identity, A Guide to Discovery.” I found it incredibly helpful. The key is to really dig into the introspective exercises. It won’t provide a direct answer but perhaps ideas for her and you to consider and talk about.

    Best wishes,

    Emma

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