There He Goes!
Amaya, my son, my youngest child starts his senior year of high school today. I feel a combination of excitement, concern, and mostly pride. The first days of school in previous school years were filled with trepidation and anxiety, but this year is different: Amaya transitioned from female to male during his high school years, and although he’s told me in the past that transition for transgender people is “an ongoing process,” he considers his own transition to be complete for now.
A snapshot of before and after would reveal many changes. His shoulders are broad now, and he stands tall. He has a deep voice and an Adam’s apple. He shaves his face!
A deeper look reveals even more:
the un-slouching of shoulders no longer hiding unwanted breasts;
the brightening of eyes no longer dim from depression associated with gender dysphoria; and
the general lightness of a heart no longer heavy with the weight of the ultimate secret.
My boy is becoming a man. He is clear who he is, and equally important he is seen by others as he sees himself.
I believe, as my mother taught me, that one of a mother’s most important tasks is to raise her child to be independent. A momma bird has to teach her baby bird to fly. (She occasionally bemoans how successful she was at this task, as I left her behind and moved all the way to California from New York. But that is another story.)
As I watch my son go out the door today, a senior headed off to his last year in high school, I can feel it: he is ready. While he will have to continue to navigate the many challenges transgender people still face on an everyday basis, he is ready. And so am I.
There he goes!