Saturday, January 3, 2015

Leelah, and all the others who struggle

Happy New Year!

I'm so sorry I don't update regularly! I have been off school for a couple weeks, so I have no good excuse, but I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!

Yesterday, I no longer could keep silent about Leelah, or for that matter, the many people who take their lives. I have many friends on Facebook that do not agree with me, so I chose, as a parent, and advocate, to share my story with them, in a very small version. I felt it needed to be said, and I also felt the parents needed to not be judged. They are parents who are in a situation that is so much bigger than themselves, and they will have their own judgment of themselves to deal with, and trust me, that is far more harsh than what others can dole out to them, so think about that when you have these conversations with people.

My FB post:
I have been silent about this tragedy, and the more I thought about it today, as I was charting my paperwork, the more I decided I couldn't be silent about this. This is someone's child. Although the parents of this child did not understand nor take the more appropriate steps that I now know are the appropriate ones, I cannot judge them for what they did or did not do, because I did the same thing. I was fortunate that my child did not leave this earth over my ignorance, and I am fortunate that I did reach out to others (namely, a transwoman I befriended) who helped me understand what I could not seem to hear. However, I will never make that mistake again. I will forever be indebted to our circle of friends and family (church and blood) who stood by Owen by accepting and even advocating when we did not know how to advocate in this realm. That being said, when you do not accept someone for ANYTHING that is not considered a "norm" you are chinking away at self-worth. When a person is not accepted as their true self, it is very hard to live in a place where there is not acceptance. This can come from gender identity, sexual identity, race, size, SO MANY THINGS. These problems are not new, they are just out, and they are your friends, your kids' friends, and probably a few family members. I was not surprised by Owen's news, but I was also not educated (and really, I do feel it was more out of denial than anything). Please, if you know someone who is hurting, help them find acceptance, even if you don't understand or accept yourself. Thank you for listening. I also think a great site for people who have faith issues around this can look at resources at the Marin Foundation out of Illinois. They have been great at researching and have put together many great resources for families of faith to get support from other families.

Much love to you all!


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Love is the Best, but that Hope.....

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians, 13:4-7

Today, I am sitting at my friend's house while she sleeps. She was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma last month, but has yet to start treatment, which will hopefully start Wednesday. MM is usually known to hit men who are African American and 65 years of age. My friend is 43 and Caucasian. She is also Owen's Godmother. I know firsthand about cancer, but this is a whole new ballgame. Nothing can be removed because it runs through the blood.

When this journey began last month, my household responded with grief and anger. Owen, being shot with testosterone once a week, was the angry one. Mine is grief, but having the knowledge that my friend is a fighter, there is plenty of hope. She is surrounded by supporters to the nth degree, and it is pretty amazing to watch.

What I have seen, though, in Owen, is a protection toward his Godsisters. There is nothing he cares about more. It's almost a God complex, yet at the same time, he's taking the steps to get the help he needs for his issues, and they are deep. There are a lot of Whys, but again, there is that hope.

I think we see hope in so many things, when it comes to people. Owen will continue watching his Godmother have the attitude that she sustains in being a wife and mother who wants to live for her family. He also knows there is a possibility she will lose the fight. But just like his battles, he will see that people get stronger through it. I know that he is 21, and he's not really as big of a responsibility as before for me, but I am still his mom, and I hurt when I see him struggle with this issue, especially when it involves a little girl who he fears may be motherless sooner than later. But hope, which is something he was supported with throughout his continuing journey, should never be absent. His faith, though shaky, I know is there through his work in staying as positive as possible, and being the loving big brother he is to his "sisters".

Continuing with my music love, this is a song I think of a lot in all my struggles.
Song for this entry: OCEANS

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The "Come to Jesus" letter

Hi All! I can't believe it's been over 2 months since I posted! I am coming up for air for a moment, since I needed to take a week off of school, but I hope you are all doing well!

Owen is doing great. He's trying really hard to raise money for top surgery, but when it is hard for him to ask for help, it can be tedious. We are now concentrating on hysterectomy/oopherectomy, which is something that can be paid for by insurance. He did set up a top surgery date, but unless he gets a huge outpouring of help between then and now, it won't happen. If you would like to help, that would be lovely! I, too suck at asking for help. You can go Here if you would like to donate.

He received a "Come to Jesus" letter in the mail from his paternal grandpa. He didn't read it, but I did. It talked about how he knows people that are like this who still live as women and are fine with that. Well, I do plan on writing a letter to him. There is a name for that. It is called gender non-conformity. I am a good example of that. I really want him to see that Owen isn't sinning, and that he has had his own talk with God on this matter, but I don't know. Any thoughts? I could use them.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Meeting New People

I would love your feedback. I have moved since October, since I got a new job that was a 30 mile commute PLUS a lot of traveling during work hours, so I have moved up just north of Seattle.

I feel, whether it is because I no longer take any kind of medication or what, that I realize I am not connecting to people anymore. My old friends are very busy, and seem far away, and I seem to have a tough time making new friends. Here in Seattle, it seems harder to make friends, anyway.

I would love some pointers, so let me know if you have any ideas. Keep in mind, I have 2 jobs now, so I work around 56 hours/ wk.


Friday, March 28, 2014

For A Cause

Hi All!

I know, you are probably thinking I fell off the face of the earth! Not quite. Just a very busy person. I hope you all are well. It has been quite a (almost) year since I last posted, and I wish I have been keeping up on this blog for a couple reasons. Firstly, I don't like to just drop off the face of the earth, even though I probably had let you know, and second, I do think that consistency is key, especially when I am asking for help.

Owen is trying to fundraise for his top surgery. We are both not that good at asking for help when it comes to money, but he did ask me to post his fundraiser. I am not asking you to give, but if you know of people who would like to help, or if you feel comfortable being a safe place to post this, I would be obliged. I know how much this will mean to him, and he is also asking for a certain amount so he raises the rest on his own, which is great!

His fundraiser is wwwDOTyoucaringDOTcom/medical-fundraiser/help-owen-get-top-surgery-/154447 .

We are not crafty, and as much as I would like to think we are poets (I have a blog, so it's true, I know it!) I really don't have anything to write except the gratitude that comes from generous people!

I also am going to try to post more in the future. I have a lot to say, and this seems to put my thoughts in order. :)

Just to let you know, O is doing great. He is learning a lot about himself. He has his ups and downs, but he sees them differently now, and it is so much nicer. :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rolling with the punches

I have been working in a temporary position for five months now. One thing I know is that they aren't going to hire me.  However, yesterday, when I was helping my supervisor with resumes (I honestly hate this job so much that I'm helping with resumes), and specifically asked, "what is the biggest strength you want?" She replies "hee hee--they have to be an awesome scheduler." Now, I know I suck at schedules. I pity the poor people who got scheduled incorrectly under my watch. I KNOW I have done the very best I can to schedule people, and sometimes I have a rigid spine, and sometimes it turns to jelly, but it still stings when, in not so many words, I am told that I suck at my job in the most important way. Now, by the age of 40, I dreamed that I would have this awesome backbone that was rigid and tough, and no one would be able to shatter me. HA! At 40 I'm far from that, but one thing I found I AM good at is rolling with the punches, for the most part.

When Owen came out, I was concerned about what other people thought, how they would react, whether I would be friends with them again, and all the things that I used to deem important. You find out really quick how unimportant that can be. I know that I have re-hashed this story many times, but I really honestly think that, if it wasn't for Owen, I would not have changed as much as into the person that I needed to be. Yes, I still wonder what others think, and I will always be concerned about the crime rate among LGBTQ people, but the wondering about things is wondering, not CARING, and the fact that I have a person who I get to see blossom in so many ways, makes me happy. And, do you know what? Most of my friends who I had to tell are STILL my friends. Some don't understand, some do, but they are still friends who love the person that is Owen. It is through them, along with my new friends, that I learned how to figure this whole thing out! Now to just get the job I want. :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hi all! I've missed writing. I forget how therapeutic blogging/journaling can be until I start writing. Right now Owen is feeling stressed. We don't have a lot of money, and top surgery is becoming a very necessary thing at this point. Please give us any prayers and advice to fundraising that you may know of. When I say fundraising, I mean, what do people like? Can I make jewelry and turn a profit in my (what?) spare time? Any ideas? Thank you for sticking with me! Gretchen