For this year’s Mother’s Day, we asked all our followers to share their stories of their trans Mother’s Day. Here is a sample of some of the submissions we received!
Juli: By the time I transitioned, my children were older, ranging in age from 8 to 24. They all had mothers already, and the first three had lost theirs to cancer. For so many reasons, I was never going to insist that they call me “Mom.” My youngest had a mother who was very much in her life, and my daughter and I decided that it would be unfair to her for me to start being called, “Mom” or “Mommy.” But to reflect my changed status, we came up with a compromise: “Anya,” the Hungarian word for “mother.” It has a meaning that reflects who I am now (and, in some ways, always was) but doesn’t disrespect my child’s mother.
My grandchildren, though, were very young when I transitioned, so all they know now is the woman who is “Nanna.” This is a picture of me and my granddaughter Tatianna. We were seeing each other for the first time in three years, and she was telling me about her aunt. I said that her aunt was my daughter and that Tati’s mommy was my daughter, as well. She looked at me a little funny, so I explained that I was her mommy’s dad. A light came on over her head, and she said, “Ohhh. So now you’re her mom? Cool.” And that was that.
Alison: I used to look at this picture on the cake mix box for years thinking, ‘Yeah right. Who in the world bakes with their daughter like that – all made up, perfect hair, jewelry?’ My other thought always used to be, ‘I wish I could be that mom baking with her daughter.’ Well last night, when we got home, my daughters & I baked a birthday cake.
A simple dream, but it was my dream-come-true, only 6 months after my daughters found out that their mom and I were divorcing and that I was about to transition to female. To my amazement and delight, we have created many happy family memories since then. Like the cake mix box, none of those happy family times seemed even remotely possible a couple of years ago. Life is different compared to what it was a couple of years ago, but the new life we have built is rich and full and based on trust. In this year of pain and joy, we have learned to love deeply and laugh loudly and be a family.
Meggan: Transitioning was a difficult decision. I knew that whatever I decided, my kids would be affected. I knew their lives were never going to be the same. I knew I had to give them time to adjust and work out their thoughts and feelings in their time, not mine. As much as I hated the title of ‘dad’ and wanted my kids to call me ‘mom’, I knew that any change in that category was going to be up to my kids. I could never force the change on them. I would just have to wait.
After four years, I had become accustomed to not having either a Father’s Day or a Mother’s Day – until this year! It may have just been their time or maybe it was my being part of the ‘Listen To Your Mother Chicago’ cast, sharing the story of my Mother’s Day angst that spurred them on, but I didn’t care. When my kids presented me with a couple of gift cards and wished me a happy Mother’s Day my heart leaped for joy and tears streamed down my cheeks. This was a huge step forward for both of them.
I didn’t have to physically give birth to my children to be their mom – every woman who has opened her heart and adopted a child knows that all too well. I am a woman, not a man. I am a mom, not a dad. I know they still won’t call me ‘mom’ yet, but I know that their love for me is undeniable and that gives me hope for the future.
Carol: I’m not a transgender mother, but I am the mother of a daughter who is transitioning from male to female. My new daughter is 39 years old and came out to my husband and I in January 2013, and she has a wife to support her through her transition and love her unconditionally. I’m so very proud of her!
Mikayla: I am a 45 year old pre-op mtf transsexual woman. I have a wonderful, accepting 19 year old daughter who has no problem calling me mom and loving me as such.
Before my transition I was married to a wonderful woman who was terminally ill. She was aware of who I was inside but discussion of me being me was forbidden. I, in turn, was a very miserable person, and it caused tension between our daughter and myself. Upon my wife’s death in 2010 I spent a time mourning with my daughter and eventually I mustered up the courage to tell her who I was. Immediately she responded “Oh is that all? I knew that a long time ago”. A sense of relief rushed up on me – I didn’t realize I was so obvious! I had tried so hard to hide by overcompensating in a perceived male persona!
On April 29th 2011 I started my life as a full-time woman. I suffered great losses, of course, but I also gained my freedom at the same time. I no longer had to lie, even though it cost me my entire family. My daughter is still by my side and I must say the very first time she called me ‘mom’ I knew I was me! There is no greater feeling! Happy Mothers day to all!
Leanna: When I first made the decision to begin my transition back in the winter of 2012 I was filled with so many fears and concerns. Would my wife stay with me? How would my three kids respond? Would they understand, or would they face ridicule for me being transgender? Fast-forward a year and a half later: my wife is still with me and our relationship is stronger than ever. My son’s only concern was if my transition would make me become a better cook – well mission accomplished, because I am now asked to cook all the time! My daughters loved the fact that I could now openly go out with them as a mom without being self conscious. Most of my kids’ friends have accepted who I am and are completely respectful about it. My wife and I have decided to celebrate Mother’s Day together from now on – to which my oldest daughter responded with “I guess we need to get two Mother’s Day gifts now.” It feels great that me and my wife co-mom, and our family is without a doubt the strongest and happiest it’s ever been. In fact, due to my kids extracurricular activities at school, I am quickly becoming a soccer mom and housewife. My life has never been better!
Sage: Mother’s day is an emotional time for many women and I am no exception. I’m a mother of four children whose ages range from nineteen to three. But while these children are genetically mine and I helped bring each of them into this world, I did not give birth to them. You see, before my youngest ever called me Mommy, I was Daddy. Just over a year ago I announced to my children that, while I would always be their father, I would forever more be their mother as well. Since they all had a “Mother” we decided they would call me Ama. My youngest children, the ones that most easily accepted this transition, now call me either Mommy or Ama. My oldest daughter, soon to be 20 and already a grown woman, refuses to use any honorifics or titles. To her I’m only Sage or “Parent.”
But changing genders is not simply a social transition. There are physical, hormonal, mental, and emotional changes that modify our sense of self and our place in this world. A few months ago I was visiting with my own mother and my little boys were playing in another room. I heard a loud cry and ran into the room to find my five year old crying loudly – smacked in the head by a car wielded by his three year old brother, a sweet but brutish child that hadn’t yet learned to negotiate or communicate effectively. As I grabbed my boy and felt him sobbing in my arms my own tears welled forth and I felt something I had never experienced before: Motherhood. I had always loved my children and I was a kind and caring father with close bonds to all of them. But a female brain and a body producing male hormones used to create a disconnect in me, and I sometimes had trouble managing my emotions or reacting to all but the strongest of emotional stimuli. A daily dose of the right hormones has changed that and changed me. When it comes to my children, my empathy has been cranked to eleven and I wonder how I ever thought I knew what parenting was before this. I am truly their mother in every way that matters now.
Yet while I am no longer their father, attempts on my part to share in the recognition of motherhood that is Mother’s Day have resulted in rejection, derision, and scorn from my children’s bio-mothers and from my older children as well. The only reasonable solution I’ve come up with to resolve this dispute is to have my own celebration with my children. Every day that I have with them is, for me, a celebration of my motherhood. Others can take a day to recognize or be recognized as a mother, but I choose to embrace my children with my words, my deeds, and my love. Every moment with them reminds me how blessed I am to be their mother – 365 days a year.
Michelle: I’m a mum and a grandmum. My stepdaughter and friends have all been so accepting of my transition. I never used to be the best parent figure before, but now it’s just the best. If my step daughter has any problems she is on the phone for reassurance!
Shanna: I’m am the proud mother of a 9 year old male to female transgender daughter. She has taught me more about myself that I ever knew. Her siblings absolutely love her and protect her no matter what. The challenges that have come with this have been many, but the love that oozes from your child when you allow them to be who they are is worth every school meeting over what bathroom to use. She is a better human than I at times, but she is, and always be, who she was meant to be: Cee Cee!
Mary: Three years ago, my life changed forever. I came home one afternoon and my husband told me to sit down and read a letter that our young teenage daughter had written to us. I thought that this was the letter confessing that she was gay. I was not prepared for what I began reading. This letter explained how much pain our daughter was going through and how she felt like she was a mistake. “I’m not your daughter. It’s time for you to know the truth, and the truth is I’m transgender.” That was three years ago, but it seems like an eternity has passed.
Today I am Aiden’s mom. Aiden is the same wonderful, bright, and loving young man that he always was. The only difference is now he is the happiest he has ever been. No longer living a lie and taking hormones to transition into manhood, Aiden finally feels like himself. He has a supportive girlfriend and a family that supports and loves him.
On this Mother’s Day, I want Aiden to know how much I love him and how lucky I am to have him as my son. Aiden has shown me what true unconditional love is all about. I am a more understanding mother and person because of Aiden. By becoming involved in my community’s PFLAG chapter, I have met some amazing people and have been able to help other parents understand how to just love and accept their loved ones. My life is a more enriched one because of Aiden and I would not change anything about our situation. I love you Aiden! You are the best son a mother could ask for.
Brandon: I am not a mother; I do not know what mothers go through. But I am most appreciative of the mother I have, and I would not be the person I am today without my mother.
I am a 37-year-old transman. I only became confident enough to medically transition about a year ago, but in that year, my mom has embraced the process and has started calling me by my male name and has begun to introduce me to people as her son.
She is my biggest advocate; she explains to people who have known us for years what it means to be transgender and why it is important to respect my name and pronouns. She loves me unconditionally – which is not an easy thing to do – and I appreciate her every day, but I especially use Mother’s Day to remind her how important she is on my journey.