Monday, July 30, 2018

Dear Youngest Daughter

When we transition, so many #girlslikeus can lose family.  The reasons are not always straightforward.  Family might do their best to stand by us.  My family did.  My youngest daughter most of all.

Transition, like teenage can be a very selfish time in our lives. Hormones are raging, we are growing and developing.  We are often catapulted into a world of love and sex unprepared for the way it will affect us and how it will change our lives.

Those of you who have also been single parents will know how difficult it is too to start dating someone.  All the time you are haunted by a fear of what a new relationship might do to strong bonds and family relationships.  You find new love with joy but also that fear in the back of your mind.

Only later, when perhaps it is too late, do we take stock and realise that maybe we could have managed things differently.

I'm posting this letter to my youngest here in the hope she might somehow see it.  I have no address or phone number, so here's hoping dear daughter, that one day, you will read this and know I'm sorry.

Dear Youngest Daughter,

How are you. I hope that you and your love are well.  I’m writing a short letter in an attempt to build bridges and to say sorry for letting you down. I really mean that.

Four years ago, you too wrote a blog for your friend who you felt you had hurt.  It was a brave attempt at an apology and one of the most sincere things I've ever read.  You wrote from the heart. That is what I'm doing now too.

In your own blog, you wrote prophetically:
"And by the way to eny won out ther who dose have a best friend/love one/family memberDon't take them fore granted.appreciate every thing they do and make shore they no it. Be mindful full of how they feel and never let your insecurities get the best of you it a think can brake friendship if your not careful."
Here is my public apology to you. I am so very sorry. I too was insecure. I needed a man's love in my life but I let the pursuit of that love come between you and me.  That should never have been the case.

So much in my life has changed in the last 2 years.  It’s helped me realise how isolated you must have felt in Llandudno and how badly I let you down. Looking back, I know now that I failed to support you.  It’s not easy for me to write and admit that but I need to say it. I’m not giving excuses: I don’t have any  Beth.  I take full responsibility for what I did and quite understand if you feel angry with me. You have every right to be.  I can’t change that but I can at least say sorry and mean it.

More than any other person (and that includes my husband), you helped me through the very worst of times. You supported me and were my friend when I had no other friends at all.  That must have been tough, not something a daughter should have to do but you did it.  I’m so thankful. You, more than anybody, know how difficult my life has been. You were the best.  You listened with a kindness and wisdom beyond your years.  I will always say that kindness, compassion, the ability to listen and empathise seem to come naturally to you. They do it in a way that is seldom true for others.  As a counsellor I know that. You have a rare and precious gift, don’t lose it.  It helps so much in relationships.

You had nobody apart from your wonderful Grandpa, your Mum, Lucy and also me.  When Grandpa died and you hit so many bumps in the road, you had a right to rely on both me and Pauline to support you and see you through.  Though you still had your Mum, I realise that I personally failed you totally at that point.  You had a right to expect support and help from me too. Instead, I fell so deeply in love with someone that he became my whole world. He still is, that’s why we married. But I should never have allowed that to shut you out.  You deserved better from me, way better.  You had a right to feel included and I should have made clear to my him from the very start that we were a family. In a family, no one should get left behind. During those times in Llandudno, you must have cried so very much, felt so hurt at my unkindness and felt incredibly alone.  I am so sorry for what I did and how I wasn't there for you. My partner has deep regrets too but that would be for him to explain if you ever feel able to talk to him.

Meeting your wonderfully supportive partner and girlfriend was good for you; the best thing, and I’m glad that you both did.  It came at the right time when you needed someone. I realise a little of what your love for each other means and how close you both are.  I’m glad, so glad for both of you. Always remember that love is simply love. Those who make out differences between same sex and heterosexual relationships, miss that point. One day it will not be important any more.

People were unbelievably horrid to me in Llandudno before I left, particularly at work.  There was no excuse for their hate and transphobia but it made my life intolerable. I had few friends willing to stick up for me. Llandudno is still full of frightening and unpleasant memories.  I had to get away.  You will recognise the feeling more than anyone. You probably know now that I run a small coffee business here and love it. You will find us at most of the Prides here this summer. There have been lots of good times including making coffee for the mayor of Manchester. I’ve found new Gay, Trans and Lesbian friends that I’ve become really fond of.

Most of all though, I’m happy where I live in now Manchester. It is a place where I’m accepted and it’s changed me a good deal as a person.  I hope in a much better way.  People say that I’m happy, less uptight and relax, more zen.  In New Islington I live in a very accepting community where I’ve come to realise that friendship and genuineness are more important than other things. 

People who’ve known me a long time have said kindly that I’m more like the person they used to know (but very much a woman). I guess this is another thing prompting me to write this letter.

If you ever want to write you can email me on here. My phone number remains the same.  I’m seldom on Facebook now, I do Instagram here: I’m also on WhatsApp.  If you want to follow my life on there, feel free.

Please however don’t feel any need to reply to this.  You too have made a fresh start somewhere new.  That’s enough. Good for you.  You deserve good times and I hope that you’ve found them.  I run a business however, I have contacts in Manchester. If there is anything I can do to help, please ask.  If the two of you fancy a visit to the Cat Cafe and you want a lift over I’d be more than happy to treat you and give you a lift.

I’ve put pics of my new kitten on here. It took me a long while to get over losing Star.  I know we both still miss him but I couldn't be without a cat, I always had them when I was little and Star left a big gap in my life. In June last year, a friend asked me if I would re-home one of her cat’s kittens.  He came with a name, Binx, (you know like Thackeray Binx in Hocus Pocus).  His Mum is a little cat called Tico. I’m posting some photos of him so you can see what he is like. Binx has such soft fur.  He was born on April 19th last year; your Grandpa’s birthday so he’s really special to me.  He is so affectionate, much more so than any other cat I’ve ever known. He sleeps on my bed at night and wakes me up so very very gently by pawing at me about 6.30am. If you ever visit, you can come and see him.

As well as my pop-up coffee stall, I am also a volunteer counsellor within the LGBT community here in Manchester.  So many people have helped me start a new life that I wanted to give something back by using my training and qualifications.  I work with people who are HIV+, helping them to adjust to their diagnosis and to cope with stigmatisation.

Where I live in New Islington, there are a high proportion of LGBT people, generally the less well off ones.  Most of us live here because it is one of the most affordable places to live.  It is also a community who stick together and always help each other.  They are my Urban Family. I don’t think I’ve ever had such lovely neighbours or done so much for other people my whole life.  It’s a world away from narrow minded Llandudno and Colwyn Bay.

I hope that one day you will read this dear daughter and know that I never intentionally set out to make you feel lonely and shut out.  We all need family. We all need friends. You will always be friend and my family both in my thoughts and heart,

Lots of love,

Jane xx


  1. Jane, I feel humbled to read this. It takes so much love and guts to write a letter like this. I hope Beth finds it and received the love you so deeply want to share with her. <3

  2. Thank you, whoever you are. I hope so too.

    Not so long ago, having two Dads or two Mums became 'the new normal'. As yet, nobody realizes that one of them may be actually be Trans, not necessarily Gay or Lesbian.

    One day we will realise that the gender of parents matters less than the love they give to their children.

    Parental love is simply Parental love no matter what the gender or sexuality of those parents is.

    Jane x