On International Woman’s day today, I noticed my grief showing up in response to the daughter that I no longer had.
My eight-year-old child, who was my daughter, is transitioning to become my son. He has changed his name, clothes and hair style. He has asked his class, Sunday school, family, and friends to call him by a new name, use male pronouns, and accept him as a boy.
I haven’t even really begun to mourn the loss of my daughter because I’ve been too busy welcoming, loving, accepting, and getting to know my son. I think I also have been waiting to see if my daughter might reappear as quickly as she disappeared.
Our child’s first words on this topic weren’t: “I’m a boy.” He was not a tomboy or even apparently confused about his gender.
A year ago, he asked for a boy haircut and received one. He was bullied by friends for this, and I thought that would be the end of him wanting to look like a boy. At the time, I didn’t realize that he didn’t mind being called a boy—he just didn’t like being called an ugly or weird-looking boy.
Read the rest on Elephant Journal from previous Parent.co writer Sara Kaplan