Worry

I just spent the past 20 minutes crying over Leelah Alcorn. It’s not the first time I’ve cried over her story and I doubt it will be the last. I’m gearing up to talk to a large group of people and some of the subject matter will be the barriers to medical care for transgender individuals. I read Leelah’s story because it reminds me (in little daggers to my heart) why I put myself out there and why I share our story. I worry so much for my daughter and for those like her.

The Florida House (and now the Florida Senate) has proposed a bill that would deny my daughter the right to use the woman’s bathroom. The basis of the bill is to protect the safety of women in bathrooms who might be in a stall next to a man intent on harming them. But, if the bill passes, then who will protect my 9 year-old daughter when she enters the men’s room? If the bill passes, it would trickle down into schools. We no longer live in Florida, but we have many transgender friends who remain.

I worry about my daughter for so many reasons. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reports that 72% of LGBT homicides in 2013 were against transgender women. Attempted suicide rate in the transgender community is approximately 41%, while in youth up to age 20 it could be closer to 50%. Those are statistics that no parent should have to worry about.

So, I’m going to continue to advocate and teach. I’m going to do my best to educate the health professionals whom I work with about transgender issues. I’m going to talk to schools, write this blog, and continue to share our story. My daughter is precious. She loves big. And immediately. If you know her, she loves you. I don’t want her beaten down by a society that isn’t ready for her. I want her to have sleepovers, and school dances, and dates. I want to worry for my daughter like I will worry for my son. Like others get to to worry for their kids. That the date won’t call, that the dance will suck, that the sleepover made them so tired the next day that they puked. I don’t want to have the worries that she’ll be forced to use the men’s room (over my dead body) or that her date will harm her, or that the pressure of being different will push her into suicide.

I never thought that this would be our path. I never thought these would be the issues to keep me up at night. But, I love the people I’ve met through this experience. I can’t say I wouldn’t change things if I could. If I could wave a magic wand and make my daughter a biologic female then you bet your life I would. But, instead, I’ll advocate and teach. I’ll educate, I’ll talk, I’ll blog.

This mom isn’t going anywhere.

LEELAH

Image found at Equality Ohio.

8 thoughts on “Worry

  1. Tammy

    I am saddened to read that such a bill could even be considered. Is there somewhere or someone we can write to asking them to vote against this?

    Reply
  2. Rachel

    Your daughter is so lucky to have you in her corner and loving her unconditionally. She has an enormous group of people ready to do battle on her behalf and yours. I’m so sad to hear about the bill in Florida. The biggest predictor of change is education. You are brave, beautiful, and awesome!

    Reply
  3. Debie Hague

    Melissa, I will continue to follow your blog and also if there’s anything I can do to help you, please let me know. Again I will continue and believe God only gives you what he knows you can handle. Knowing you I feel you have been through worse. So stay on top up it and you will start to get answers……See you soon…

    Reply
  4. Paul

    Leelah’s story tears at my heart, as do all the other transgender suicides and homicides that we read about.

    We do the best we can, but the worry is never going to go away.

    Reply
  5. Sheogorath

    I read about that horrible bill. I also read that it died, thank f###. Cool photo, BTW. Whoever put it online really just said it all in only three words.

    Reply
  6. Ramu

    Thanks for the heads up with regard to the book..hopefully after the hyoadils I will afford myself a copy..The whole invisible vs visible thing was taken out of my hands by my transgirl who doesn’t mind sharing her reality.She doesn’t know the world like I do.But I want her to be unashamed so I table my rational fears don my special t-shirt that states my kid is transgender if that’s a problem for you get help and prepare for inevitable fights.Luckily we homeschool or there would certainly be more issues..but it is down to me to let her be who she is and be aware of puberty beforehand so as to start her regimen of testosterone blockers and cross gender hormones.For now she gets to simply enjoy being a girl and I get to stand in awe of her growing into a young lady.

    Reply

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