Thursday, July 28, 2011

Testament to Youth

No the title isn't a misquote of the first of Vera Brittain's memoirs.  Vera Brittain wrote movingly about the impact of the 1st World War on the life of a young VAD nurse.  This testament is a tribute to the daughter who has stood by me throughout my transition.  She is almost seventeen now but was only eleven when I began my journey towards womanhood.  It seems strange to have us both going through puberty at the same time, and for me the second time around.  The heady cocktail of a trans Mom on hormone patches and a daughter having her first periods does not make for a quiet calm relaxed family, not i theory anyway!

The inevitable crumbling of my marriage and my daughter's transition (how often that word crops up!) to Middle School (High School here in the UK) left me desperately seeking a day job that would pay enough to rent a small apartment and start all over again.  From the moment she cheerfully helped me pack and plan our new home to the present day my daughter has been an unexpected source of strength and support that I never expected to have.

After I started to transition I imagined that prejudice encountered at work might be the worst problem.  It never really happened. I chose to take a job as a teaching assistant in a community college and transitioning there has been so easy.  I made many new friends and found a new social life as a woman in a new town where few people had known me previously.  Splits and difficulties from within my family however were inevitable and I had been prepared to have to go it alone as a single woman building my life anew.  I had expected to say goodbye to any dreams of continuing to be an everyday parent and keep some semblance of family life. My youngest daughter however chose to stick with having me as her Mom and I'm so grateful for that.

Mom & Daughter

I've lost count of all the hugs given and received, the thanks, gifts of love, making me laugh, shopping trips and compliments.  She did all this even when the going was tough, when Health refused to fund my GRS (then later relented), when they closed the Gender Identity Clinic and left me in despair, she was there.  Through it all my daughter helped me transition in a new and different way from being a depressed self pitying woman into the cheerful supportive Mom she needed to get her through school and cope with teenage life.  She taught me how to love unconditionally (again) and to cherish the ordinary everyday things; listening to her talk about problems with school friends, zits, periods and boys, tucking her in bed and comforting her, helping her shop for clothes, listening to her share her dreams.

I owe my daughter a huge thank you for helping to turn me into the person I am today, not from the point of view of gender but for allowing me to learn how to be maternal, caring and supportive, for allowing me to just be an ordinary everyday Mom.


  1. Hi Robyn-Jane & Daughter

    What a beautiful life affirming post, You are so lucky to have each other and what an amazing journey for you both. Thank you for posting this.



  2. Thanks Michelle :) it was worth it just for the journey, but having coming this far and having the chance to look back the view is amazing too.