Today my family is celebrating TransParent Day. This new holiday was thought into existence by other trans people with children in response to a very real awkwardness our children feel when confronted with Fathers Day and Mothers Day. Sometimes they struggle with how to celebrate their relationship with a parent who has transitioned away from their former gender role – and we struggle along with them.
For our family TranParent Day came as a bit of a god-send.
I discovered the concept this past year (and I wrote about it here: Fathers Day for a Transgendered Parent), just after my kids struggled with whether or not to include me in Mothers Day, and just before they felt obligated to celebrate Fathers Day. I was personally struggling with the situation as well. Trying to play the “father” role was one of the most stressful and gender dysphoric aspects of my former life. Far from something to celebrate, it’s something that hurts to be reminded about.
Besides, my kids don’t call me “father,” or “dad.” And they don’t call me “mother” or “mom” either. They call me “nai” (and occasionally “mama”). But I love my kids as much as any other parent. They’re so central to my life – to my entire concept of who I am – it could never feel right to just do nothing to celebrate those special relationships.
“Happy TransParent Day!” were the first words I heard as I rolled out of bed this morning (delivered by my middle child, the 8 year old Mighty-B). Dinner will be one of my all-time favorites (coq au vin – the Alton Brown version). Then we’ll share a little pumpkin cake, because it’s a special day for all of us. It’s going to be a little holiday for the whole family, and that elevates the whole weekend in my book.
But more than all of that I’m happy to have a special day to mark our success together in navigating the gender transition of a parent while remaining a family.