Queerly Trans
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Queerly Trans

My Adopted Gender…

Wait, I get to pick?

Photo by Annika Marek-Barta on Unsplash

So I was thinking today about gender (occupational hazard for baby-trans-people) and adoption. And for background, when I married my wife we became an instant family, because she had two daughters from her first marriage. And I decided to adopt them because I didn’t just want to be their “stepdad” I wanted to be their “real dad”. Because, I reasoned, if I was going to be the one pouring out my life for them, I might as well get the credit. And that’s not to say there aren’t some amazing step-parents out there. But I wanted them to know they were important too, that I loved this whole family, not just their mom. So they got to change their names and they got to know that they were “chosen”. See, that’s what stood out for me as a difference between a birth parent and an adoptive parent. Adopters get to choose, and it was very affirming for them because they knew they were “picked” and loved out of choice, not out of requirement (and I have two bio-kids as well, and they are all loved).

I wanted them to know they were important too, that I loved this whole family, not just their mom.

And so now I wonder as a trans-person, “adopting” my gender, how that makes me different from a person who is “born” with the right gender. I didn’t grow up as a girl (just wanted to be one, although I didn’t know why at the time) but now I have embraced that truth in my life. I have “chosen” my gender (and it has chosen me!) and I am so grateful for that experience because I know that I am special. Not many of us get this opportunity, to find ourselves in such a concrete way. And yes, it is a struggle; fighting the demons on the outside and on the inside, but we are “learning and earning” our identities, and that makes them so much more precious and beautiful and loved…

I have “chosen” my gender (and it has chosen me!)

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QueelyTrans is a publication for stories from writers who are trans/non-binary with an extra flavor of queer. Trans doesn’t equal straight and we are so far from it, we’re getting delightfully dizzy. Come play! Our voices are too quiet — let’s change that.

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Jenny Starr✨

Jenny Starr✨

A transgender woman learning her way in this beautiful life…queer, curious, thoughtful. Top writer in LGBTQ and Poetry.

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