Just Parents in Life

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

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

The Appeal Process

Ever feel like a tidal wave of emotions is attacking your mind, body and spirit? Yeah, thats me (mom) this last month. I think the last seven months had caught up to me last week. In July, our son saw Dr. Olson-Kennedy at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and it was recommended that we immediately get him on hormone blockers as he was in late stage 2 of female puberty. Our medical group denied the procedure, so we had to file an appeal with our insurance carrier. They get 30 days to make a decision and if they don’t approve it, then you can appeal to the Independent Medical Review (IMR) board.

Our insurance carrier had until last Friday to make a  decision on whether or not to approve the hormone blockers our son desperately needs to feel normal. I have pages of documented notes calling our insurance and almost every time, I got cordial people who really are just getting through their job for the day. Last week, I got a person who I could tell immediately had a cold and my heart dropped. Oh great, I thought. She’s going to be crabby and short since she is sick. I summoned up my kindness (instead of the F bombs of past conversations) and told her I was sorry she was not feeling well before asking for her assistance. She surprised me. She actually cared to see what was going on. She went over the entire notes on our file and asked questions about what she was reading. She discovered that they had NOT received the medical records and letters from doctors that were sent over last week and asked for my number to call me back, so that she can try to locate those faxes. We hung up and I had an emotional breakdown. Why? Why is this so difficult? I felt like our insurance carrier was trying so hard to make sure they didn’t have what they needed to make their decision to our appeal.

I called her back an hour later (because she never returned my call like she said she would) and she advised they never received any faxes. I got a little hysterical with her and started to cry again, from frustration, and I think she felt bad. She offered to call our therapists office herself to ask them to re-fax all the medical records. She followed up with me (and by followed up with me, I mean she replied to my email) to tell me she was in receipt of everything needed to make their decision and that she had passed our file onto the Medical Director and that the decision would be made on Friday, September 30, 2016. All my hard work was over. I did all I possibly could to prove to these medical professionals that this treatment was in the best interest of our son. She also let me know that they will not verbally notify me of their decision and that I will have to wait until a letter is generated and sent out via regular mail. 😱 So, I just tried my best to wait patiently.

Yesterday was Tuesday, October 4, 2016 and I just couldn’t handle the anticipation (I’m not very patient) any longer. I emailed the employee that so graciously helped me last week and told her I hoped she was feeling better and that if she could let me know if in fact a decision was made and when I could expect a letter to be mailed out, I would be grateful.  About an hour later, I saw an email come through from our insurance carrier and my heart stopped for a moment. I immediately opened it up and read the words “Your request of consultation and insertion of Supprelin LAVantas implant (hormone therapy) at the CHLA Department of Adolescent Medicine for the diagnosis of Adolescent Gender Dysphoria has been approved” and I screamed out in excitement, yelled for our son and told him it was approved!! We hugged and I cried a little as I felt so relieved to not have to start another appeal with the Independent Medical Review Board. I told him if he was 21 we would have celebrated with a glass of champagne!!! That letter took a HUGE load of bricks off my shoulders and I immediately felt better.

I started sharing our news with my hubby, our doctor at CHLA, our mental health offices that worked so hard and swiftly to help me get the proper paperwork submitted and to our family that knew what was happening over these last several weeks. If I could have written it across the sky for everyone in the world to read, I probably would have!

I have gotten some questions about what a hormone blocker is and why we need it, so I just wanted to share with everyone. This procedure will implant a small, soft tube into his left inside upper arm. It is a minimally invasive surgical procedure done by a specialist in their medical office. This tube will release a medicine called histrelin which blocks the action of the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). Basically, this will stop female puberty from setting in on his body.  This will need to be in place until our son is ready to start the process of male puberty.

So, now we wait until we hear back from CHLA as to when our consultation is to sign the consent and then get us scheduled for the procedure. Thank you to everyone who has kept me sane during this process, who has offered up support, prayers and love to us. We truly appreciate it.

♥︎ Just Parents

 

A Roller Coaster Of A Ride

It has been a month since our last post. There has been so much going on that I just haven’t had a clear mind to sit down and journal what has been happening. Our life feels like a living roller coaster. Sometimes, our hands are in the air and we are enjoying the ride and other times, we are death griping the handle bars praying that this part of the ride will be over soon. This last month, we have been death griping the bars…

We are not sure if it’s all transgender issues that we are dealing with. It’s most likely a combination of this plus the tween angst and hormones. Things just haven’t been easy for our son. His mind can really take a hold of him and he can quickly spiral down the depths of the vicious roller coaster. A few weeks ago, we were dealing with feelings of rather being dead than alive. As a parent, that is devastating to hear. I (mom) have never felt so low that I thought of suicide, but I know others that I love dearly have and I try to come to terms with understanding what that must feel like. But, until you have walked in those shoes, I don’t think you could ever really, truly understand the pain and suffering of someone who has suicidal thoughts. We quickly kicked into high gear, called all the therapists and doctors, had long discussions with our son and made some adjustments to the medication he is on. We are now easing off of our death grip, but still constantly monitoring him.

We found a new therapist that he really connected to better than his last one. He is excited to start building a relationship with her and I think they will be a natural fit. This has helped him tremendously. He came out of his first session with her and described her to me as “The female Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” When I asked what the heck that meant, he told me “she gives the best speeches.” I asked what kind of speeches she was giving in there and to paraphrase what was said to me was that she told our son all you need is an ounce of hope, if you can hold onto that ounce during the darkness, you will make it to a better day and that it will get better, so long as you never give up that last ounce of hope. My heart felt warm when he told me that and together we discussed how powerful that is and to always hold onto that ounce of hope and know that when things get bad, they will always get better….so long as you never forget about that ounce and – never give up on yourself.

We are struggling with getting our insurance to approve the hormone blockers that we desperately need. This is where I have been mentally exhausted from it all. The phone calls talking to incompetent people who know nothing about transgender care have sent me into a downward spiral of F bombs. My sailor mouth has kicked in one too many phone calls and or emails that have transpired over the last month. I am begging these people to just approve the procedure that my son desperately needs to keep him from wanting to end his life and all I get is denials and go file an appeal and the appeals department telling me it does not qualify for an expedited appeal because there is insufficient proof that not having this procedure has an “imminent and serious threat to the health of the patient”. WTF are they talking about!?!?!?! This seriously is making me lose my ever living F’ing mind. See – there’s that sailor mouth again…Ugh…I have cried more tears of frustration and sadness this last month trying to handle this part of the roller coaster ride that I am exhausted. But, I will hold onto one ounce of hope that it will all get sorted out and hopefully sooner rather than later…

So, for now, we will continue this roller coaster ride of “life” and hold tightly to our ounce of hope when things are difficult and know that soon, we will be able to throw our hands in the air again and enjoy the ride…however temporary that moment might be, we will take it.

♥︎ Just Parents

 

 

 

 

Words are so powerful

My BFF is amazing at articulating just the right words to create a powerful message, it’s what she does for a living. Recently, I sent her one paragraph that I wrote in a moment of anger and hurt, that I wanted to share with those around us about our son. I knew it was time to start addressing the folks in our community as school is going to start soon and I was going to be bombarded with questions about why my child was no longer at the school. I also learned that some kids found out about our son and were talking amongst each other and I wanted to set the record straight for their parents. My hubby didn’t like my paragraph as it was too aggressive. I was so hurt, that I didn’t care if it came off aggressive. I was in momma bear mode and didn’t like knowing people were talking about us instead of to us about what they had heard. I am sure he was right and that I shouldn’t send the paragraph, so, I asked my talented BFF to edit it. She took that one lousy paragraph and turned it into a masterpiece. It was so beautiful that when I read it, I was moved to tears. Instead of me sending out a letter to let parents know about our child, it was a letter that was sure to get people thinking and hit them right in their heart. It was powerful.

Recently, I started sending the letter out in small batches to those parents that had children that were friends with our child. The responses back were immediate and filled with love. I spent the entire day in tears, reading these parents words of support and encouragement, their comments on how brave our child is and how they stand beside us. I would read the comments to our son and I could see the light turning on in his eyes. So, I decided to send it out to more than just our school community and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Some replied to my message, some reached out via text and some picked up the phone and called to offer support. I don’t think I have ever cried so many tears of happiness.

This journey has not been easy, nor will it ever be easy, but this is not a lifestyle choice, this is who our child was born to be and making him be anything less than what he was born to be is just not fair. Our son has been battling some serious depression lately and when we went to the doctor that monitors this, yesterday, I brought up the concern that we had been having. I also told the doctor that it seems recently though, he has been doing better. He has seemed a little bit happier and less dark than what we had been dealing with. The doctor asked our son what he thinks may be making him feel better and our son told the doctor about the letter we had been sending out and that all the messages of love back to us/him has really made him feel so much better. I almost cried. As a mom, I want to protect my child from all the hurt that I can. I drug my feet in telling the world, in an effort to protect him from hurt within our community. It was that reluctance that was weighing him down. Now, he feels free to be himself, he feels loved and supported by those that matter and even those that don’t know him and is just a little bit happier, thanks to that letter.

I wanted to share some of the wonderful words of support we have received back from those that received the letter. Words are so powerful and have the ability to lift up someone as easily as tear them down. These words have been so uplifting, I am incredibly thankful for that. The words back to us were just as powerful as our message we sent out ::

“I wanted to let you know that I raise my girls to not hate or to discriminate in any way what so ever. The girls and I are believers and attend church regularly and believe God loves everyone no matter their gender etc.”

“I guarantee me & my children are behind him 100%. ❤️”

“Your message had me in tears, not just because opening up like this has to be scary for you .. but because you’re helping your child live his best life.”

“I am blown away by his courage at such a young age to have the strength and understanding to come to this decision. It speaks volumes of your family and you and your husband as parents.”

“Love is Love and I’m happy he is surrounded by incredibly supportive parents.”

“What a brave, courageous and absolutely amazing boy you have! You must be soooo proud! I know that I am proud to call him my friend. You have my support 110% and I can’t even imagine the pride you must be feeling.”

“Tell your son that he has our full support and what a brave human being he is.”

“I am glad that you are open-minded and support him in his decision to live his life as he feels.”

“He is so super brave for taking this journey that most adults who are facing these feelings are too fearful to begin.”

“I want you to know that you will only get love and support from my whole family. I can only pray that you get the same from everyone else. I believe my job on this planet is to love my neighbor as myself. And I don’t think that means only if they are just like me.”

I don’t know how to articulate how awesome I think you all are. Wow… Just, wow. The absolute definition of true, unconditional love.

With love,

Just Parents ❤︎