Just Parents in Life

Journey through our trials and triumphs of raising a transgender child and his two sisters.

Happy Transaversary

Two years ago, today, our child, at the very young age of 10, had the courage, bravery and vocabulary to let us know he is transgender. Today, two years later, we celebrate his *transaversary* as he calls it. The date wasn’t even stuck on my (mom) mind. We were driving to school yesterday when he mentioned it to me. I was like, wow…two years ago?!?! So much has changed in two short years, but sometimes, it seems like a lifetime ago.

We have adjusted to our new normal in such a way that I sometimes forget that we have a story to tell. We don’t want being trans to be the center focus in our home, we want our son to just be our son and we think we have done a great job in accomplishing that. Yes, there are many reminders that he is trans, but to us, he is just our son.

The strange thing about it all is that I remember that day clearly, but yet, it feels as if we have always had a son, we were just late to the party for realizing this. Facebook memories pop up all the time and sometimes, when there is a memory of our son from before he transitioned, we think, how did we miss the signs…You see, our son has always been our son, he was just assigned female at birth. A technicality, if you will. He didn’t just become a boy one day, he has always been one. Reflecting over his childhood, he was always different. He walked different, he talked different, he dressed different, he played different. He loved different. He was different than I. He was different than his older sister. And that is because he was a boy and everyone was treating him like a girl. We were already purchasing boy clothes, we had always purchased boy toys and we always threw boy themed parties. How did we not see the signs?!?!

I suppose it doesn’t seem like an anniversary or transaversary, to me. Its just a Thursday. It’s not a day I choose to celebrate, because I would be lying if I said two years ago today is a date I want to remember. It was a tough night. It was a lot to take in and understand. I don’t want to relive it. I don’t think my husband does either. But, our son, he celebrates today because today was the day he was able to use his voice and express himself, so for that, I say Happy Transaversary, Son. We love you. We are proud of you. We are thankful for the lessons we have learned over these last two years and look forward to watching you grow into a young man.

♥︎Just Parents





The Big Day!

It has been three months to the day that I have last updated our journey. Life happens to pass by so quickly that it is hard to keep up. I should have made an entry back on November 15th as we had a life altering event that our son has been waiting for. He started Testosterone! It is a very small dose to start mimicking puberty in your average 12, almost 13 year old boy. He has been waiting for this moment since the doctor advised us that she would consider it at our last check up. I was a little worried about the injection part. I did NOT want to stick a needle in our kiddo, so when our super rad nurse came in to educate us on how to perform the weekly treatments, I was relieved when he told our son that this is his journey, his responsibility and that if mom is ok, he should learn to self administer. With a quick glance my way and a reassuring nod by myself, he said ok.

We spent the next 30-45 minutes being educated on how to sterilize and dose properly. Who knew there were so many steps to complete BEFORE you can even administer the teeny tiny amount of T that he is receiving. To say I was super proud of our son for giving his first injection to himself would be an understatement. It was also a bit of relief to me since I knew I would just have to supervise the process and not actually inject. I know, I know, I am a baby, but I just couldn’t imagine inserting needles into one of my children. Don’t get me wrong, I would if I HAD to, but I don’t, so yay for me. 😂

When we left the clinic that night, it was already dark and we had about a five block hike back to our car. (Parking in Los Angeles is never easy, but even worse on street sweeper days.) The evening air hit our faces and I turned to my son to tell him how proud I am, how brave that he was back in there and give him a big hug and he started bawling. I quickly assessed the situation to determine tears of sadness or happiness and thankfully, they were happy tears. He bear hugged me and said how happy he is and how thankful he is for all the support we provide him and of course, tears hit my face. This kid can be a huge pain in my ass, but moments like this, make it all worthwhile.

It has been five weeks since our son has started his first injection. He is taking weekly selfies to document the journey, although I feel like maybe monthly selfies may show a greater change. But, I am just the mom, so I stay quiet and let him do his thing. Other than this defining moment in our lives, everything has been quite normal. He is a typical pre-teen. Mouthy, know it all, lazy, video game loving boy. But, that is ok because we know he is healthy, happy and just where he was meant to be in his journey. He is your average boy to everyone we meet and that makes my heart, and his happy.

♥︎Just Parents


Summer Camp

Life passes by so quickly that I sometimes have a hard time keeping up on our blog. Summer is now behind us and middle school has been in session for four weeks now, but I can’t let it go by without discussing Summer Camp. We found a camp for transgender youth located near us last year. After reading all about it and following their social media, we decided this would be a great opportunity for our son to experience camp in a loving and supportive environment and to make some friends who can relate to our son. Last month, for the first time ever, we packed up our kiddo and sent him off to Camp Aranu’tiq of Harbor Camps in the beautiful mountains of California.

As we arrived to the camp, our son was filled with emotions ranging from nerves to excitement to fears of the unknown. We checked him in, found his cabin and secured him a top bunk near a window as there was no air conditioning and it was warm in the cabin. There were a few other boys in the large cabin, just standing around. You could tell they all had the same sort of emotions running through them. So, I went into momma mode and quickly starting introducing our son to everyone. We met one of the counselors and got a quick tour of the large cabin. Everyone was so unique and I (mom) just wanted to sit and chat with them all to learn their story and offer hugs of encouragement and support. Clearly, I didn’t, but I was really hoping that they would all connect with each other and create their own support system.

After our tour of the cabin, we just sort of walked around the camp for a few minutes checking it all out and decided to quickly leave our son so that he can start his experience. I had huge hopes for him. I wanted him to make some lifetime friendships, some local friends and experience all the fun that camp offers to youth – camp fires, activities out of your comfort zone, mess hall style meals and just a real sense of adventure. The best part, was no technology was allowed. We wanted our son to take a break and disconnect from his devices, but the thought of absolutely no contact with him was a bit weird. We are all so connected at the touch of our fingers, to let go of that was a bit refreshing and a bit scary. We had a quick moment of big hugs and kisses and sent him back into his cabin as we headed back to our car.

The week went by rather quiet without him around. We were able to send an email mid week, but couldn’t get a response back. We wondered how he was doing. Did he make friends? Is he having fun? I had to drive up at the end of camp by myself to pick him up as my hubby had to work. I pulled into the parking lot, which was near his cabin, and as I walked halfway up into the camp, I was met by our son, who was in tears crying! My heart sunk and the pace of my steps picked up until we embraced into a long, tight hug. I asked what was wrong and his words will always make me giggle. He said, “I just miss everyone so much..” with which I started to reply, “We missed you too buddy…” But as my words spoke, I was cut off by his words “I don’t want to go home, I don’t want to leave everyone, Im not ready to say goodbye.” At that point, I started laughing…he didn’t miss us, he is missing his friends that he has already had to say goodbye to. That made this momma heart very happy. I wiped his tears and started asking him about his week as we walked to check him out. Everyone was saying goodbye to our son and you could feel this sense of unity amongst the entire camp, from the campers, to the staff, they all were connected on a deeper level after their week together.

On our long car ride home, I heard all about the week. His new friends, where they live, what activities they did, what they ate. He was so chatty and filled with an energy that is not the norm. It was wonderful to witness. We got him home and post camp blues kicked in real quick. I wasn’t quite prepared for that and it was a bit alarming at first, but then we got an email from camp telling us to expect this and how to deal with it. I let him be sad and mourn the fact he will have to wait a whole year before he gets to have this experience again. He grabbed his phone and instantly started following his friends on social media and a text group was created. To this day, they all still chat with each other very often and it makes me super happy. I was really hoping for a new local friend but instead, we have a lot of friends all over the United States.

Having a sense of belonging was very helpful to our son. He told me he never wanted to leave the camp because he finally felt like he belonged somewhere. That was painful to hear, as a mother, but it is his truth. He felt at home at that camp and we will continue to do all we can to assure he gets to go back year after year.

♥︎ Just Parents

His First Birthday

Tomorrow, our son turns ONE. Yep, it is his first birthday…as his true self. In all actuality, he will be 12. Last year, we had started the physical transformation before his eleventh birthday, but we had not publicly told people outside our close inner circle that he was in fact transitioning. Everyone just assumed his *tomboy* ways kicked it up a notch. Well, this year, as he celebrates his first birthday as a boy and his last birthday before he becomes a teenager, I (mom) find myself experiencing a whole array of emotions that totally caught me off guard.

I was driving home from the store today after picking up the last minute essentials for the big day and it hit me. Water works started and I had no idea what came over me, but I just cried. Cried because that tomboy little girl, with long straight hair is gone. My rough and tough daughter that loved all things boy is gone. I guess people always asked me if I ever mourned the loss of our daughter and I always said no as I felt like we didn’t lose anything as we already had two other daughters. I felt like I gained something we didn’t have – a son. But, I guess, I had a moment of mourning today for what we will no longer ever have…

Having said that, I got home and started on making his birthday cake.  A cake my amazing husband picked out at the store over the weekend. It is a rainbow cake and totally fits our son. As I was painstakingly trying to make all the layers work, I was overcome with even more emotion at how wonderful my husband is. Although he is a jokester and likes to poke fun at others, he has not missed a beat in parenting this kiddo of ours. He is bravely and boldly accepting our child for who he is. He is talking about our son being transgender to his friends and is continuing to love our child just the same. He and our son had a very special bond from the moment my husband stepped into our lives. I worried that it would change or lessen or be different once our son told us he was transitioning. Although their relationship is evolving, I know they love each other just the same and I am so proud and thankful to have this man by my side each day, helping me get through the tough days and celebrating the great days.

We now have this pre-teen boy who confuses us daily as he matures into his own self. I am still proud of how courageous and brave he is, but will admit that I sometimes feel lost in parenting him. I think he is still trying to find his own unique sense of self and in the process, we are watching and scratching our heads. Things he would NEVER do when he was stuck in his old body, we are finding him doing now. For example, you would have never caught him pre transition in anything PINK. Nope. Don’t even think about it. But, today, he walked out of his room in pink socks and a pink hat. I just try to giggle quietly and let him be, but it is all so strange to witness. Now, before you go lecturing me on gender expression or boy versus girl things, know that I am OK with whatever my son chooses to express, but I am being honest here with my feelings and it sometimes is all so overwhelming.

As tomorrow nears, I reflect back over his childhood and know that all the signs pointed to him being born in the wrong body. When I see old photos and videos, I see it. When I remember events in his life, I see it. I know 100% without a doubt, my son is a boy. I look forward to his last year as a pre-teen and hope he continues to blossom into his own unique self. Please keep us in your positive thoughts or prayers or whatever you believe, as I know it only gets harder raising children into teenagers and my husband and I fully expect this kiddo of ours to be a handful.

♥︎Just Parents


Life is Good

I haven’t posted in several months, mostly because there isn’t anything new to post as far as our sons journey pertains to. Life has been settling into our new normal since the hormone blocker in November. We are dealing with typical pre-teen angst, on top of a little body dysphoria, but other than that, life has been good.

We recently signed our son up for some mixed martial arts boxing classes and he LOVES it! He goes twice a week and its been excellent for him. The workouts are just what he needs and he sleeps so well these two nights! The kids are all great and he just blends in with no issues. There are a couple parents there that know he is transgender, and have been nothing but supportive of us being there. We did not tell the coaches as we weren’t sure of their reactions and decided that he can just go to class as a boy with no labels. If something comes up or there is a time that it needs to be brought to their attention, we are hoping that they will be accepting as they have grown to like him more and more each week. Sometimes, you just never know ones reaction, and we thought this could be good education for the coaches. Fingers crossed this all goes well as he loves it.

Sixth grade is coming to an end! I can’t believe theres just seven more weeks of school before he graduates from elementary and is off to middle school. Our son is accepted and loved at his school and has decided to stay there for the middle school program. There was a brief time that he thought he would like to integrate back into our home school, but that has passed. I (mom) am not sure how I feel about it all. I would love nothing more than to have my kiddo at school every day, with his friends since kindergarten, right down the street from our home. But, then I realize, that this school he currently attends has kept him safe, helped him thrive all year long and that, is peace of mind for sure. He told me the other day when I asked about a promotion ceremony at the school, that the teacher chose our son and another classmate to speak at the ceremony. I was surprised and excited and nervous for him all at the same time. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say, but since we all know what a story teller he can be, I am a little nervous too! LOL

We are planning a twelfth birthday party for next month. It is a pool party, which surprised me, since he has some body issues. I am glad he is not letting it hold him back and hope the party is a success! We will be blending kids who knew our son pre transition with kids he has met after transition. I am sure I will be nervous all day, but they are a good bunch of kids and should blend well for a few hours.

Thats it for now…thanks for taking the time to read and catch up on our lives. I will try to update more often for the family that is following along the journey…

♥︎Just Parents

The Highlights of the GOOD

It has been awhile since I have updated on here and I was thinking about why I hadn’t the desire to post anything. It seems when things are not going well, I need an outlet to vent and this blog had become my venting platform. But, when things are going well, I find myself not feeling the need to blog. So, it got me thinking…Since the hormone blocker fight was my biggest venting session that got handled, I haven’t felt the need to update. But, there have been some pretty rad things happening in our sons life, so this post will be the highlights of the “good” in our life over the last few months.

At the first of November, my son and I met another transgender boy and his mom. Our sons are the same age and same grade. We live about 50 minutes from each other, so we met half way to have lunch. The boys instantly hit it off and us moms enjoyed each others company. It was so nice to see the kiddos, after their shyness wore off, start to open up with each other and feel so comfortable. They were laughing and goofing off and thoroughly enjoying themselves, so much so, that our lunch turned into a trip to the park so that they could continue hanging out. Meanwhile, I found that I was gaining a new friend as well. It was the first time in our journey that I felt that someone else really related to me and I to her. We were able to ask each other questions that you can’t really ask another parent that doesn’t have a transgender child. We were able to share stories that were eerily similar and we were able to discuss the future with the same uncertainty, fear, and hope and relate to each others feelings. It was a great day for all four of us!

Over Thanksgiving break, our son was invited over for a playdate with his old friend since kindergarten. This young lady and her parents have been so wonderfully open and accepting of learning that the little girl they once had over for many playdates, was now a boy, with a new name. They have embraced him and us with open arms and for that, I am so thankful. When the momma called to arrange a playdate, (the first playdate offer from anyone since we announced we now have a son) I wanted to cry happy tears. The kids spent the day hanging out at their home for the day with her older sister and friend and then went to the movies that evening. They had such a great time together and I enjoyed seeing this girl continue to love my child as if nothing had ever changed between them. I have no doubt that these two will be lifelong friends.

She has been such a supporter of our son since their playdate. She went back to her school, where our son used to attend, and started advocating  for him. She was correcting names and pronouns and telling everyone how she wished he would come back to school. And guess what?!?! The other kids are starting to soften their hearts to him. These two started talking on the phone more often and she really helped build our sons confidence up. He started showing up on campus in the mornings, here and there, when I was dropping off our youngest, and the kids that greeted our son would get bigger and bigger each week. So much so, that eventually, his best buddy from last year that wrote him off the day he showed up to school looking 100% boy, reached out and APOLOGIZED for being a jerk and that he wanted to be friends again. They spoke on the phone for quite a long time and are now on friendly terms.

Last month, we had our first sleepover our son has been invited to in many years with his new friend we recently met. I was nervous to let him go, but could sense the excitement in his voice, so we packed his bag and off he went. He had a blast and the family said he fit right in. It was so nice to know he is making friends that are just like him.

All this support has our son thinking about reintegrating back into school with his friends. He really misses the socialization aspect that regular school provides and the fact that he is getting support from friends to come back, had me arrange a meeting with the Principal of the middle school he should be attending next year. The meeting went amazingly well. She was so supportive and reassuring that he will be fine at her school and she stated that she has several gender non conforming students and has not had an issue with anything thus far. She said she is willing to accommodate whatever makes our son feel comfortable. We discussed bathroom usage and locker room concerns and she had answers for it all that were acceptable to us. The best part was when she said if other parents have an issue with your son attending our school, then that parent can figure out what they wish to do with their child because your son is welcomed here.  She invited us to come in the Spring and attend the sixth grade orientation they do for the surrounding schools. Our son is so excited about the idea of getting back to school with his friends and for hopefully making new ones too.

The last two months have been pretty amazing for our kiddo. Things are starting to fall into place and life is starting to feel somewhat normal or as normal as life can be with three busy kids. Thank you for following our journey and not only sharing in this mommas frustrations, but also in celebrating our good times!

♥︎ Just Parents



Sticks and Stones

This…this right here, explains it all. Please stop with the hateful comments and just think for a moment, put yourself in our shoes for a moment and remember this :: We would rather have a transgender SON than a dead daughter. I will leave you with that profound thought as you read through this trans momma’s response to all the haters out there.

♥︎ Just Parents

Growing Up Transgender

Another week, another article on transgender children and their “crazy” / “abusive”/ “attention seeking” parents. Even when articles are not actively offensive and transphobic (as so very many are), they retain a heavy tone of scepticism and judgement. And then I get down to the comments section…

I know I shouldn’t look. I know there’s nothing there I want to see. I know I will leave in tears. But somehow, I can’t help myself. Partly, I want to learn what views are being shared, to try to understand what people are saying and, once I start, I’m so horrified, I’m unable to look away. A bigger driver though, is the knowledge that in a few years’ time my child will be the one on the internet. She won’t be able to look away, and I won’t be able to protect her. And the hurt I feel now will be nothing…

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Hormone Blocker Day

The day finally arrived. 11.15.16. The day we have been anxiously awaiting.

We woke up yesterday morning at 4:45am and were out the door by 5:15 am to head to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles with our son. It was *hormone blocker* day! We have waited for many months and have jumped through many hoops to get to this day and it was finally here.

We arrived at CHLA at 7:30am and had time to waste before we checked in at 8am, so we grabbed some Starbucks and walked the gardens that are already decorated for Christmas. It was a quiet walk as our son was starting to get nervous. We just enjoyed the scenery and tranquility of the gardens.

At 8am, we headed upstairs to the outpatient surgery clinic and waited about 15 minutes before our nurse called us back. She was very nice and took the time to explain to us what was going to happen, leaving out the details that would make our son nervous, as he asked to not hear about them. We got to see the implant and feel what it is like in a simulated arm piece. I (mom) had to sign some paperwork and she asked me to step out of the room with her to do so. She explained that she needed to be sure I understood what was happening and that part of the procedure was to ask if we needed a pregnancy test. 😳 She advised, its standard procedure to ask, as if he would or could possibly be, this implant would cause serious complications,  and if I decline, I need to sign a waiver stating so. I happily signed the decline. She then asked if I wanted to know what the steps were to the procedure, since our son didn’t want to. She explained what would happen and then we went back to the room.

She applied some numbing cream on the inside of his non dominant, upper arm and told us she would be back in twenty minutes. Right on time, she said she would go get the doctor. He came in and was so warm and inviting, told us we could call him by his first name and sat down next to our son to explain the procedure and ask if we had any questions. He told us that his partner and him do about 100 of these a year and that there is literally no side effects that we should be worried about. We then followed him down the hall to the sterile surgery room and began the process.

The doctor wiped away the numbing cream and applied some spray that would freeze the area. Once that was finished, he applied lidocaine all around the site. This was the part that they said would be the most painful as you would feel a burning sensation inside your arm. He felt nothing and so we proceeded along. The Doctor made a very small incision, used a long skinny tool to insert into the arm and injected the implant. It took less than a couple minutes to do all this. He stitched it up with two dissolvable stitches, taped it up, bandaged it and then put a wrap around the arm. He said the wrap was to get some extra sympathy for the remainder of the day. 😂 Our son never shed a tear, said he didn’t feel anything and was more brave than I could have ever hoped for, considering he is afraid of needles.

Just like that, we said our goodbyes and were done. We headed out the hospital doors and set off to eat some breakfast. When we hopped in the car, our son told us how much he loves us and that made my heart happy. I could tell he was happy and in that moment, all those months of fighting for this procedure seemed like nothing.

By the end of the day, his arm started to bruise up and today, it is very sore. But, he told me today while we were driving that he is so happy that he is on the road to being his true self and that he can’t believe its all happening so fast. I asked if he was ok with how fast things are moving and if he is 100% sure of all that we are doing and he replied “I have never been happier in all my life and have never felt more right than I do now.”

♥︎Just Parents


We did it!

We did it! We got a surgery date for our son to get his hormone blockers! I don’t even want to go into all the obstacles we had to overcome to get here, I just want to relish in the moment of accomplishing this monumental task for our son. I feel elated, relieved and overwhelmed.

The surgeon is booked out to January. When I heard this last Friday, tears welled up in my eyes and my mind raced through a thousand things that could happen between now and January.  His surgery scheduler was so amazing and she said the doctor knows how hard this is to get approved and how long the process can be and that he does all he can to help accommodate his patients that had to fight for the procedure. She told me that she will speak to the doctor about our specific case and get back to me. She called yesterday afternoon and said ‘Can you be here next Tuesday at 8am?” The fact that this doctor is willing to squeeze my son in within a week makes me want to give him the biggest bear hug ever, when we meet him next week!

So, to recap, we got our referral approved and appointment scheduled back on May 1oth. The first available date the doctor had was July 22nd. We spent the next 10 weeks fighting our medical group and insurance provider. We spent the next 4 weeks fighting with the pharmacy and our medical group about the prescription and where it was going to be filled at. Then finally, it took 4 additional days to get the appointment scheduled at the surgery center. It has been one hell of a fight, but I would do it all over again for any one of my children.

Thank you to my husband who had to endure all my emotionally charged phone calls, some which bordered on mental breakdowns, thank you to my best friend for always having the right words of encouragement, thank you to all our family and friends that checked in on us and kept us in positive thoughts and to those who prayed for us. Thank you to my blog followers that offered words of encouragement and support along the way. Most importantly, thank you to our son, who throughout it all, kept calm. He told me yesterday that the reason why he wasn’t worried is because he knew it would happen. I am going to take that as he knows he has a momma bear that never backs down, never gives up and will always fight, so long as I am living, for what is right, what is fair and for what my children need/deserve.

♥︎ Just Parents



Just keep fighting…Just keep fighting…

So, I thought the fight was over and that we were moving forward with our sons surgery…I was wrong. I cannot believe how difficult this whole process has been. Now, I am fighting with the pharmacy and their lack of care or concern to get the approval processed and order the medication needed. CHLA and I have spent the last two weeks fighting Caremark. Faxing over the approvals and prescriptions, following up and re-faxing approvals and prescriptions and getting nowhere. I cried again today. Tears of frustration have become a normal part of my routine. Its been 90 days since we saw Dr. Olson-Kennedy. I thought we would have had the procedure by now, but here I am, still fighting for my sons medical right to hormone blockers.

I worry daily that it’s going to be too late by the time we get the surgery scheduled. I worry daily that irreversible puberty will kick in before we get it all handled. I worry daily about what that will do to my sons mental health. I am carrying this tremendous worry around that has me constantly in tears and easily on the verge of a mental breakdown. I keep telling myself in my best “Dory” voice (from Finding Nemo), “Just keep fighting…Just keep fighting.”

I feel like as soon as the surgery is done and the medicine kicks in, it will be a huge sigh of relief, the worry will lift and we can just enjoy our life again. I know that there will always be worries as parents, but, this surgery will allow us a year to just settle in and enjoy our son. Please keep us in your positive thoughts as we continue to hold onto that “ounce of hope” that it will all resolve itself soon.

♥︎ Just Parents