Emma called me a week or so ago, she sounded bewildered and happy. Karen ran into her at a local store one rainy evening then drove her home.
“Does that mean I’m no longer disowned?” she asked then promptly followed that up with, “I don’t think I’m disowned anymore. She added me back on Facebook too.”
I agreed that sounded likely. We come from a family who react first and think later. Just because Karen was furious in August didn’t mean she was angry in November.
Then I got a call from my Mom. She wanted to know if I got the previous day’s newspaper. I don’t subscribe to the local paper so hadn’t.
“There’s an article about a transgender student in it. I meant to cut it out for you but forgot and put it in the garage. Just give me a minute…”
I waited while she headed for the garage and dug through their recycling bin (their cordless phones have amazing range). She finally found the paper and hurried back inside to read it to me. The student discussed bullying at his previous school then went on to talk about how great his new school was.
“Why are you trying to get Jeremy into [school]?”
“The class is small and it was recommended as a good fit,” I replied.
“I just wondered because the school this boy’s raving about is the school you’re trying to get Jeremy in,” she replied. Pages rustled in the background. “And did you know the school board is having a meeting on December 11th with transgender parents and parents raising transgender students?”
I did but hadn’t mentioned it to her, figuring she wouldn’t be interested; which was a mistake on my part. I don’t know what impressed me more. That my Mom read through a huge article on transgender students in the local paper because her grandchild’s trans, that the school I’m trying to get Jeremy in is considered good for trans students, or that my Mom made a point of sharing an upcoming LGBTQ event she figured I’d be interested in. I think it’s a three way tie.
Thursday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance and both Jeremy and I had the day off. I spent the afternoon dying zir hair purple…
Emma gave Jeremy this lovely crushed velvet purple ponytail holder.
That evening Emma came over with a new bracelet for Jeremy…
Then we went out for dinner at an Indian restaurant. The food was amazing but we should have gone to the local Coffee Culture for sandwiches instead as we were already rushed for time. It didn’t help that I thought I knew where we were going but we got there to find an empty sidewalk and the wrong street sign. I quickly logged onto Facebook for the address then to Google Maps. Luckily we were only three blocks away from the right address. Unluckily we were already 20 minutes late.
The first and second people we saw were members of my congregation, they’d set up a button making booth. The kids and I stood and listened to the speaker for a few minutes then there was a ten minute break. We hurried to find seats then wandered around the displays. Once again I asked people if there was a local group for trans youths and, once again, I found nothing. The break ended and I hurried back to my seat alone. The kids never came back. Instead they, along with our minister’s son, spent the rest of the time making buttons…
Emma made the “Shut Up! I’m AWESOME” button for Jeremy.
Jeremy made two more buttons for me, coloured almost completely green. I have them on my jacket. One of my coworkers asked me if zie could make one for her too. Unfortunately that will have to wait until the next time we’re at a button making booth.
Afterwards I talked to one lady about Bill C-279 then she started talking to one of the PFLAG representatives. I asked the rep the same question I’d been asking all evening and she asked how old Jeremy is. I told her 17 years old and was told that was the perfect age, that quite a few youths attend their PFLAG meetings then break off into their own group… and that about 3/4’s of them identify as trans. The next meeting is this coming Thursday. Hopefully it goes well.
I posted earlier about a coworker of mine who’s been struggling with cancer. The lack of support for her bothered me and I asked my manager if I could start up a fundraiser. Despite working at a very small store, my coworkers have donated $300 and more said they plan to donate next week. This is going to be such a good surprise for her. I hope this brightens her Christmas a bit.
Jeremy had Youth Group on Friday through our UU congregation. There were going to be new kids attending and the youth leader called Jeremy to ask how zie’d like to handle pronouns. Zie decided on having everyone in the group introduce themselves and state their preferred pronouns then offered to go near the beginning, that way if any new kids were shy they wouldn’t be first and put on the spot. It ended up being moot because no new kids showed up but it was great that the youth leader called ahead of time.
And, finally, I talked to my minister today. I volunteered to do a talk on transgender issues back in the early fall because I was tired of people misgendering Jeremy and figured our welcoming congregation needed some education to be more welcoming. The minister thought it was a great idea and we set a date for the beginning of January. I was nervous for several reasons. One because I’m not good at public speaking (hopefully no one in the room will actually be expecting eye contact) and two because I’m not trans. I can give my experience at being Jeremy’s mother but can’t say what it’s like to be trans. I asked the minister how long I was expected to talk and was told for five minutes. She’s invited not one but three transgender people in to talk about their experiences. All three were at the Transgender Day of Remembrance and two are experienced public speakers (the third is a teenager). I am so happy! I wanted our congregation to get an idea of what it’s like to be transgender and what they can do to be supportive and it sounds like this is going to happen. I can’t wait for this service now.
The tree Jeremy made at Youth Group – the top is vivid purple.