My son is twenty-three this year. Five years ago, at the age of seventeen, he came out as transgender.
It was on a rainy, Northwest day my teenage child, then known as my oldest daughter, drove off in the old Toyota. A family car no longer used. My child was setting off for a new college experience. Flying the nest.
The back seat and trunk stuffed full of boxes and belongings obscured my view of my oldest heading down the road and away from me. I worried about the visibility out the back window. I silently worried over the three hours of driving between our home and this new school.
Of course, I also mused; Would my child fit in and make friends at this new school? Will my child be happy there?
I never worried about gender. The idea of transgender, my oldest daughter truly being my son, never entered my mind.
At least not then.
Finding out via Facebook.
It was several hours later and I arrived home from a long day at work. I had not received a phone call so I decided to check Facebook. I flipped open my laptop and after waiting for the familiar screen to flash on, I began to scroll.
There it was. My child’s Facebook page and profile picture looking back at me. Only not my child’s name attached. There before me was a new name! Jace. I leaned back from the computer, confused but still staring at it.
My go-to action was to ask my younger daughter if she had seen this new name and what it might mean? Her reply, I think you better call Jace. Upon which she returned her attention to her Algebra book.
Alone in my bedroom, I dialed my child’s number. Anxiety and nerves built up with each…