The 17th Annual QYLA Awards were held on May 10th, 2014 (Mothers' Day eve) and I was asked to give a speech to the moms in the room. I thought I'd share it with all of you moms who couldn't be there that night. We share this journey and I'd love to hear from you and your experiences.
As we all know, mom’s have a lot of responsibilities.
We make sure our children are fed and clothed. We host playdates, teaching our children how to share and be nice, to be humble and to love one another. We teach them right from wrong. We help with homework, go to teacher conferences, manage school projects. We drive them everywhere, with their friends and all kinds of “stuff” they need for sports, theater, you know. We listen and comfort them when their hurt and we rejoice with them in their triumphs.
We encourage them to find their path, to take responsibility and to live life to the fullest.
Some mom’s have children who are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender or queer and let’s be honest here - I mean it’s just us right? We moms embrace more challenges and responsibilities, gifts that come with the blessing of a child who does not conform to what society says they should be. It causes us to change, breath a bit more deeply and look at the world in ways that might challenge our own beliefs.
Suddenly we have to be their advocates in ways we didn’t think would ever be necessary. We have to fight for their rights to simply be who they are - our beautiful children.
We have to help our children put on their armor everyday so that they can protect themselves while hopefully being loving to themselves and others.We have to encourage them to be strong and self assured with who they are. We have to make space for them to grow into the person they can’t help but be.
Being a mom of a LGBTQ kid can be hard. Often our friends don’t understand. We don’t always get encouragement we really need. We very rarely are told we are doing a good job - in fact, when we are told we are doing something right, it is usually from the therapist that we have spent our kid’s college savings on!
So I’m here to tell you, as a mom of a transgender young man, as a mom who has experienced all of this, I am here to tell you that the struggle, the tears, the personal challenges, it’s all a gift.
In fact, we are the lucky moms. Sure, often it may not feel like it. But it’s true. We ARE lucky because our commitment to their individual journey means we get to see our children grow into caring, loving, accepting, strong, self assured adults. Kids who are going to change the world.
We are lucky be part of a community of the most amazing people ever. One I of the best I could ever ask for - and never expected to have be a part my life.
We are lucky because by accepting and supporting our children for who they are. WE are changing the world. We saw it happen with gay marriage, we are seeing it happen with laws to support transgender school kids and we will keep seeing happen. Because love is more powerful than hate.
And we all know, the love of mothers can make anything happen.