All my life I wanted to be a parent. More than anything in the world.
It all started to fall apart when I was around 8 years old.
My life changed drastically in that hour.
My life changed drastically in that hour. I was so deeply and utterly confused, heartbroken and furious. If I couldn’t be a mother, why had my parents allowed me to role play as such?
Life moved on after that conversation but nothing was ever the same. My anger towards my parents intensified and grew into resentment. My parents had always been open about LGBTQ+ matters. We had books featuring two moms, two dads, single parents, mixed race couples etc. I knew of stories where children grew up to be “different” than their parents had imagined. I had a friend who’s mom went away for a few weeks and came back as their papa. However, I’d never considered how any of these things related to me as a person and as a prospective parent.
When I turned 18, I finished school and went to university in England. My parents were more than encouraging of my journey but they were not prepared for what would happen. It had been agreed that I could live my first year fully as a student and come home after my first year for our usual family vacation. I even spent Christmas away from the family.
My mom opened the door to a “complete stranger”
This is when things started to slowly fall apart.
Why had I missed all of this?
Wracked with guilt, I called my wife. I told her everything. I broke down during the call and she came, with our daughter in tow, to the hotel. We chatted until the small hours of the morning about my life growing up in the US. What I had experience at that birthday party and how my life had changed. I told her how I felt about her being pregnant again and she asked a question that I had been terrified of anyone asking “Do you think you might be a trans woman?” I couldn’t answer because I truly did not know.
My wife and I made a plan. We were going to fly to the US with our daughter, rent a small apartment near my childhood home and reconcile with my family. I emailed my mom and told her I was coming home.
Two years later, we are back in England. My wife is pregnant with our third child, I have begun my transition and my dad passed away. I don’t know why life turned out the way it did. As I said, my family were very open about LGBTQ+ issues and were the safest family I could have hoped to have. Instead of embracing that, I internalised that one homophobic comment as an 8 year old child and ultimately tore my family apart.
I have no idea what the future looks like for me and my family right now. All I know is that my family have surrounded me with love and support. I am accessing therapeutic support to try and unpack all of the trauma that one little word seem to have created for me and I hope to be living my life as authentically as my family would have wanted for me.