Lately there have been a lot of talk in the media about the LGBTQ2 community and more specifically on transgender people. This isn’t a new topic; however, it has become more relatable to me as I have a transgender grandson. My grandson was born in a girl’s body, so we like many other parents and caregivers, gave him, a female name at birth. This is known as AFAB (Assigned Female At Birth).
I can honestly say that prior to my grandson coming out to us, I had never knowingly met a transgender person before. It wasn’t even on my radar, as growing up and raising my child, topics such as being transgender, or gay weren’t as openly discussed as many people in the LGBTQ2 community feared coming out. I am so happy that this isn’t as much of a worry as it was 30+ years ago. Unfortunately, there are still too many groups out there who have difficulty in recognizing the uniqueness and diversity of people. This is why I feel it is my duty to stand for what is right and for people like my grandson, who are too young to speak for themselves or are in a place that they don’t feel safe.
I personally identify as female; however, I grew up as a tomboy. When my grandson first started to communicate about who he is, I personally just thought he was just like me, a tomboy. It was after many years of struggling, and my grandson getting more and more angry that we started to question that he could be more than just a tomboy. I have never seen anyone, let alone a three-year-old so determined in their conviction of who they are, that we had to seek out professional guidance to help us with his journey. It wasn’t an easy process, but after several years my grandson got a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
At first, we cut his hair shorter, bought him boy clothes and pretty much everything except fully commit to him being his true self. We went 90% but tried to hold on to the granddaughter I had. This made him angrier and more frustrated with us that we weren’t just accepting and loving him for who he was 100%. Due to our comfort zone and lack of knowledge in this area, we were trying our best to put a band aid on this situation and hoping it would go away or he would grow out of this phase. It did not.
Fast forward to now, my grandson is in grade 4 and going stealth at school, which means everyone knows him as a boy, he uses the male washroom and is known as one of the guys. Which fits right along with his looks and mannerisms. He is one of the kindest and happiest kids you will ever meet.
We are very fortunate to have such a great support system at school, for him and us. From the wonderful and caring counselor to the accepting and understanding principal to all staff and teachers, who accept, and protect my grandson with a safe and inclusive environment.
I wanted to do something to help my grandson now to positively affect his future as he grows up. So, I have decided to share our story in hopes to help other families. I know how we have struggled for the past 6 years. My goal is to help other families that struggle in similar positions. Our journey is not over. We have met so many other people who have their own stories.