Warning! This Label May Be Dangerous to Wear
Na.tasha Tr.oop

Dear Natasha,

Clearly I’m a fan – I love your prose and opinions in much the same way I love what Allison Washington writes. I love your pragmatism, especially around issues of our transness, if only I could be so pragmatic. I guess that comes from bringing up your children, being a teacher and who visibly transitioned at work. Of course this means you are not stealth and your life before transition is not forgotten or made to seem a lie as required by stealth. I’m so happy for you that your outcome was the best it could be considering you transitioned a number of years ago. I love that you are still with your family and you have widespread acceptance from so many people who love you. It’s not hard to see why you are so beloved.

One area I find incongruous in general is the names used for the female paternal parent. Society hasn’t yet developed titles beyond the very gender specific mom and dad. I see you dislike being called mom due to the history of being known as daddy to your children for a number of years and that it doesn’t invalidate your spouses’ sexuality. It’s a little conundrum that same sex relationships do not have to navigate. I like your description of paternal parent. It’s interesting that many paternal parents work out a name with their children to use in public. As calling someone who is obviously a woman, daddy, can be confusing to others or in extreme cases, dangerous.

Can a universally accepted name be created that can sit alongside mommy and daddy, is it even possible. In the series Transparent, Moira is called moppa by her kids as a conflation of the traditional parent titles. But in series 3 she asks to be simply known as mom. This doesn’t sit well with her adult children, particularly with their mother. Currently and historically words and phrases have been used to describe us that are accepted for awhile until new, better, kinder and more accurate versions appear that reflect increased understanding and knowledge of transgender people. Perhaps it is time we put our collective heads together to create language that is accurate and respectful of our lived experiences and which we can mostly agree.

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