Photo on 5-10-15 at 12.52 PM

A word from my daughter

Editor’s Note: I was sitting at the dining room table today playing a computer game when I decided to let Conner have her way and give you a message. I thought her words were really thought provoking. I’ve done minimal editing (spelling, grammar, tense usage, etc). It was interesting for me to hear some of her concerns too. I hope you enjoy her words.

Hi, this is Conner. You’ve probably read about me. My life is amazing with my mom, dad, brother, dog, and kitten. My life is interesting. That’s why I let my mom share it with you.

My life can be hard because I feel like I have to keep a special secret about myself. I have to be careful about the friends I make.

Sometimes I lose them.

People think I’m different. They think I’m weird or scary. Trust me. I’m not scary. I’m one of the most loving people my mom knows.

I do feel different. Being transgender isn’t easy. I feel like I have to keep quiet about myself. It can take time before I feel comfortable letting my class know about me. Some of my best friends can know right away because they love me for who I am.

I worry that a different president will have a different opinion about transgender kids. I’m afraid that they won’t let transgender kids BE transgender. That makes me worry about the future.

I’ve had wonderful teachers in the past. They supported me. They loved me. They checked in with me. They let me use the girl’s bathroom at school and they let me play with the girls in gym class. I love my teachers so much. All the way to the moon and back 17 times. That’s how I feel about my best friends too.

I have a really supportive mom, dad, and brother. I know that I live better than other transgender kids because some feel like they have to hurt themselves. I don’t feel that way. I have an awesome family and they support me in all ways. I wish all kids like me had families that supported them.

You can’t just listen to the opinion’s from someone else. You need to meet someone who is transgender and experience how they live and who they are. You can never jump to conclusions about us, or really, about anyone. Please be careful about what you say. It can be really hurtful.

Thank you for letting me say these things. I hope it teaches you about transgender people.

Bye!

Conner

 

20 thoughts on “A word from my daughter

  1. Kari

    Sweet, beautiful Conner, Thank you for your message today! What a wonderful family & community of support you are blessed with! Thank you for being brave & sharing your story with the world!

    Reply
    1. Melissa McLaren Post author

      Thank you for your beautiful comment. I am so glad that you support me and my family. Love, Conner

      Reply
  2. Lorian

    Melting in a puddle of love and tears and more love here as I type. No words to describe how this post makes me feel. Love you so much, Melissa, and you, Conner, and your whole family. :hug:

    Reply
  3. Debie

    Conner, after reading your post I can say you are going to be just fine. The love and support you have with family, friends and people like me who you don’t even know will be the support you will have to get though the tough days. It seems to me you know who you are and that all that matters. As you grow older you will be such a support to others that feel the way you do what a great feeling that will be.
    Hugs to you and your family….

    Debie

    Reply
  4. Susie

    Conner – that you for sharing your feelings. You did a really good job and I hope that a TON of people read this because your message is really important. I hope that by writing your thoughts, and letting your Mom share them, you can open some people’s eyes.

    Reply
  5. Leslie Lagerstrom

    Dear Conner, you are such a good writer – just like your mom! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with all of us! You are an amazing and smart girl that I respect so much! You are making the world a better place by sharing your story and I feel so lucky to know you and your beautiful family!

    Reply
    1. Melissa McLaren Post author

      Thank you so much. I’m glad I could share my thoughts with you. I hear that you are a good mom too. Love, Conner

      Reply
  6. Paul

    Conner,

    thank you for sharing your words with us. I am glad your teachers are great, too. I had a meeting with my son’s teachers yesterday. He wants to start wearing a dress to school, you see, which is something that the school hasn’t had to deal with before now. They were awesome too. We think it will go well. Your words about having to keep quiet are very important, because we now have to decide if we are going to tell the other mums and dads at school about our child or just let them come to their own conclusions. There are ups and downs on both sides, and we’re trying very hard to do what is best. Your insight is valuable to us and very timely.

    However your life turns out, always know that you have friends in England rooting for you and cheering you along. In the words of Bruno Mars, You’re amazing just the way you are.

    Be well.

    Paul and family.

    Reply
    1. Melissa McLaren Post author

      Thank you so much. I am glad I can help kids around the world. Have you heard of Jazz Jennings? You may have. She has helped me and is my transgender hero. She has encouraged me to keep working hard to stay who I am in this world. I hope it goes well with your transgender daughter. Love, Conner

      Paul and family,
      We’ve moved twice and made the decision about telling classmates up to Conner (though we had a very open door communication policy about what she was planning to do so we could get school and teacher support first). As her parents, we’ve tried to encourage her that being transgender isn’t a secret, but our bodies are private and we don’t necessarily need to talk about what’s in our pants. It’s been difficult for a small child to make that distinction. Also, because I’m not transgender, it may be that I don’t fully understand that not talking about my body is the equivalent of keeping a secret. We’ve talked to a therapist and she mentioned that gender fluid/transgender kids are constantly evaluating if it is safe to say something or keep quiet about it. For Conner, she needed to “come out” about being transgender because it was so important for her to tell people who she was. I know other kids that have remained very quiet about it. Talk to you child and any mental health specialists you may be working with. Ultimately, we decided to follow Conner’s lead though she talked about it with her class after we had time to talk to her teachers and for the class to be prepared first with a few books written about transgender kids (I Am Jazz would be perfect). I hope it goes well. Thank you so much for reaching out to us! –Melissa

      Reply
      1. Paul

        Conner,

        thank you for your kind reply. We have read “I am Jazz” with D. As you know, it is a great book and helped him to understand that some people are transgender. We were holding our breath and waiting for him to say “that’s just like me!”, but he didn’t. He said that he is not transgender.

        This is a bit confusing for us as his parents because parents like certainty, and sitting between the gender boxes and not choosing either one can make it quite hard to know what to do next. So we do what parents are supposed to do: we love him where he is for who he is and we will continue to love him wherever he is on the gender spectrum.

        Melissa,

        thank you for making such a long reply: it’s great to make connections with other differently-gendered families.

        You are, of course, correct in that we should discuss disclosure with D before we do anything. We’ve decided to be discreet for now. We are concentrating on getting some rehearsed responses in the bag for when other parents challenge us at school pick-up time. We are fortunate to have the school on board, and the priest too (as it’s a Catholic school). We may be pleasantly surprised. I guess time will tell.

        P.

        Reply
  7. Cindi Cain

    Dear Conner,
    Don’t worry sweetie, You have a wonderful Mom and Dad who wil support you always. Rachel Will defend you always. I have never met you but have come to care for your brother and you. Don’t be afraid to be who you are. That is what makes you so wonderful!!

    Reply
  8. Susana Ginory

    Dear Conner,
    You are amazing and beautiful inside and out! Your Florida friends miss you and are happy to hear that you and your family are doing well. A great big hug from all of us! Love, Mrs. Ginory

    Reply
    1. Melissa McLaren Post author

      Thank you for that amazing reply. And thank you for making my life easier in Florida and for giving me different ways to solve problems with me and bullies. Also, thank you for being one of my favorite teachers. XOXO, Conner

      Reply
  9. TLatif

    Hello Conner,
    You are an amazing little girl and I miss you so much. I am proud to have been one of your loving teachers. XOXO

    Reply
    1. Melissa McLaren Post author

      Thank you for that beautiful comment. I changed my mind about you being the best teacher in Florida. Now, you are the best teacher in all the lower United States. 🙂 — Conner

      Reply
  10. Rae

    My dearest Conner-

    I have always known that you would make this world a more beautiful, accepting, and colorful place. Reading your words has made me smile from ear to ear. You are indefinitely right about being loved- your family loves you more than words will ever accurately depict. You have a gift for gab, Conner Bug!

    Love you and miss you to the moon and back 18 times! I am so blessed to know your family!

    Reply
  11. Sheogorath

    Hello, Conner.
    Technically, you are different in that you’re not like typical people. You know what, though? Everyone’s different in their own way. After all, God didn’t make us clones of each other, did He? Anyone who thinks you’re ‘weird or scary’ just for being you are just plain wrong, trust me on that. God made you perfectly as a trans girl, don’t let anyone tell you different. The ones who say God made you as a ‘boy’ are badly mistaken.
    I’m glad you have supportive family and friends because everyone needs them, and people like you and I who have something to hide that they shouldn’t have to deserve to be fully supported (I’m gay rather than trans, but if I was in Russia, I could be arrested). Because of the support you have, you are very probably going to grow up to be a great woman, and you deserve it.
    May I just close by saying what a pretty girl you are in the photo on this post?
    Yours very sincerely, Sheogorath.

    Reply

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