“Every gay person must come out.
As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family.
You must tell your relatives.
You must tell your friends, if indeed they are your friends.”
There is, perhaps, no stronger feeling of love than the love a parent feels for his or her newborn child. As the child grows into their own unique self, inevitably pushing against the protective bounds the parent has set, that love is often put to the test.
The back-to-school season can bring a mixture of emotions for parents and kids alike. For some it’s all excitement. For others, it’s nervousness and trepidation. For transgender children and their parents, it can be a time of sheer terror. While some schools (and the communities they are in) are great, others are so anti-trans that it feels like we are sending our kids into a war zone.
After the birth of my daughter in 2013 at midnight one night while I was up feeding her, I felt God. It was the strangest experience I have ever had. Many times in my life I have said in prayer “Please God, hit me over the head with the answer because I can’t take hints.” He did.
As a parent of two young children, I make many trips to the public library and I read many children’s books. I can be a bit of a children’s book snob, picking what appears to be a high-brow picture book based on the inclusion of a Caldecott or Newbury award sticker, or by literally judging a book by its cover and choosing the ones with the best illustrations.
As my queer son grew in maturity and wisdom, I questioned so many things—my importance in my son's life, the world's ideology, family members' loyalties, my son's safety, his happiness, and whether or not who he is is who he wants to be.
Picking up the many pieces from a shattered and broken life is not as simple as gluing together a cracked clay pot. It takes so much more. For me it has taken great patience, much time, and a large dose of faith.
I’m sorry! I had no idea.
How could you? You only answer questions. You never ask any.
I am Julie Wood, the mother of a gay son, an LGBTQ ally, and a proud member of Believe Out Loud.