This weekend, our family went to our local Pride festival. Somehow I have never been to a Pride festival despite having spent 4 years living in Boston… it seems like such a shame.
K is obviously too young to really understand Pride, but we thought it was important for her to go. Since K came out to us, we have wanted to teach her to not only be proud of who she is, but also to show her that there are other people like her; we don’t ever want her to feel alone in this journey or like there is something wrong with her. While rare, what she is experiencing is natural. The best way to teach her that, is to show her.
The kids had been counting down to Pride all week; we had been planning our rainbow clothes, pins, etc. Big sister was particularly excited about some rainbow earrings she had found, while K was excited about her rainbow hair.
We spent all morning preparing. K had a rough start after bonking her head on the way out of the car, but she pulled her mood together and had a great time. Both children loved walking around and seeing all of the different vendors. We decked ourselves out with some “Equality = Awesome” t-shirts, and some window clings advertising our liberal attitudes to the world. The real star of our purchases however, was the transgender flag that we bought K. She absolutely loved waving it around, both as she walked, and at the parade. She asked for it in the car on our way home, and it has been hanging in her bed ever since.
We have used the term “transgender” with K before and she understands it. Today felt different though. It was like not only did she understand it, she identified with it. She understood how being “transgender” related to her, she understood that it stood for a whole group of people like her, and she seemed very proud of it. Every time that she saw another transgender flag she said, “That’s MY flag!” She wasn’t saying it like they matched her flag, but rather that she identified with that flag and she understood that it stood for people just like her. Something clicked for her yesterday. Perhaps it was just feeling accepted by the world instead of “different.” Maybe one day she’ll be able to explain it to me.
On the way home, I reiterated to K just how proud of her I was. I told her that she was very brave, and that one day I want to be brave just like her. I also made sure to tell her that no matter what, I will love her. I am not proud of her because she’s transgender, I’m proud of her for being exactly who she is. If she decides one day that she isn’t a girl, if we go back to before transition, or if K decides she is actual neither male nor female, I will love her and be proud of her. I want her to feel confident to make that decision for herself without worrying about any pressure from me either way. She is such a wonderful kid and I am such a lucky mom.