Growing Up Transgender with Jordan and Violet

Jordan is practically my son. I’ve known him since he was in third grade. I’ve been a part of his life since and I experienced the struggles and joys of his transition from female to male and his alignment as he was growing up transgender. He and his friend, Violet, male to female, tell their story with authenticity and honesty as they ask only one thing from the world: accept them for who they are.

On a personal note, nothing was harder for me than knowing every time Jordan had to shower, he was filled with self-loathing. The emotional pain was severe and he struggled with suicide. His parents moved as quickly as they could to learn more and support him in any way that could – even medically – which honestly, involved big decisions.

Unfortunately, the church let them down.

They were all very active in their church and I watched as they were rejected and eventually left. While their journey has taken them to places they never expected, their faith stayed strong and their ability to lift others up who were also struggling, is why they are an important part of my life. As they say, “they are good people”.

Resources below. Message me if you have questions or need support. Oh! And the music you hear at the opening/closing of the show, Jordan created it. Thanks J!

Or listen to the podcast

A few resources about growing up transgender

Ten Things You Can Do to support children who are questioning their gender. Dr. Shane Hill has been an essential support for transgender kids in Santa Cruz and the greater Bay Area. This short list is the very best place to start if your child is asking you to listen.

I worked on the first version of this website, it feels like 100 years ago. For more than a decade this organization has grown and thrives. The new site is beautiful and has many resources – especially for parents – who don’t know where to start or how to support their child.

Jordan mentions, Camp Aranu’tiq is a safe place for transgender kids to feel like themselves. Safe, protected and super normal, this camp really helped save Jordan emotionally. The Boston Globe even showed up to do a story.

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Wow – Just Changed the Blog Title to “It’s High School”

First day and last day of middle school. Damn.

Hard to believe the time has come.

Middle school graduation was last week – I can’t believe how much this kid changed in one year. Who knew eighth grade would mark such significant developments. For a kid who really had one friend in middle school, she ended with a posse! In fact, her great milestone, a zillion signatures in her yearbook – compared to last year which only had signatures on one page.

Katie considers this to be her greatest 8th grade achievement. I can’t say she’s wrong. She did great academically but thankfully that’s never been that hard for her. But making new friends, that’s proven to be much more of a challenge. She likes kids who are savvy and interesting and willing to try new things. She’s not interested in stoners or followers or people who have no imagination.
She’s off and running and I find that I am the one left facing a bit of “development.”

When I brought Katie home from the hospital, swear to God, the very first week, I cried like a fool telling everyone that she was going to leave me and go to college. I’ll be damned, I was right! But the leaving is starting now. All this time I wanted her to have friends but I didn’t realize that meant I would be back on my own again.

Oh sure, I see her sometimes, but even as I write this she’s in her room, on the phone or texting. She has been out all day on a bike ride (and an early dinner – what 13 year old says that? “Hey mom, we are heading out for an ‘early dinner’ on the wharf!”). I have been home working and then cooked (well, burned) myself dinner and dove into a Stephen King book (Under the Dome – why did I think I could read 1074 pages before the series starts this week?).

Anyway, this early empty nest thing isn’t going so well for me. I am truly having a hard time. I know I’m in the final countdown. Four years of high school is going to fly by. I’m clear. It’s time I get back to having a life, doing things with my friends, maybe watch a movie. The feeling is so uncomfortable and lonely. I miss that wonderful pre-teen who used to hang out with me.

But I’m proud of her too. This is what’s she’s supposed to be doing right? Growing up. Being independent. Taking responsibility for her own life.

So we begin. The last four years. This is high school.