By Alice Evergreen, We’Ced Youth Media /New America Media, First Person
MERCED, Calif.–Parents should be open-minded and accepting, especially when it comes to their children, but I know this is not always the case.
At least it hasn’t been for me.
I grew up with a single mother, and ever since I was a child, we were never close because I was different.
Although I am only 18-years old, I have had a very difficult journey. Moms, by society’s standards, are supposed to be caring and accepting figures, but I have not had the luxury of having that in my life.
My Mom was never home because she worked all day, so my oldest sister became a substitute mother and took care of me. She, along with my other sister, basically raised me. They allowed and encouraged me to become the person I am today. While I am appreciative of what they’ve done for me, I wish my mother would have treated me the same way.
Though she showed me affection, I never felt like my Mom’s love was authentic. She was always distant and disapproving.
When I was a child, I remember having one friend. He was a courageous little boy who played “bride and groom” with me. Of course, I would always play the bride or any female role in every game we played.
My Mom thought it was weird and discouraged me from acting feminine, but I didn’t care.
I would put shirts on my head and pretend I had long beautiful hair. If I saw a woman on television, I would try and imitate her as much as I could. I always felt I was a girl. It saddens me my Mom has never accepted this.
I believe no child should grow up feeling unwanted, unsupported or rejected by a parent. I do not want any person to go through what I have endured in my lifetime. I’ve known my entire life that I am different, and I’ve accepted it, but knowing my Mom does not has really hurt me.
When I came out to her, she made me doubt myself. She asked me what I saw in the mirror. I replied that I saw myself, but she questioned me once again, this time asking me about my gender. I was so devastated, and instead of fighting for myself, I said, “I see a guy.” She told me I was correct and to never forget I am a “male.”
I thought coming out would be a huge relief and that all my insecurities would go away, but once again, that was not the case.
Months later, I came across a young trans woman on the internet. Her name was John Luu. Unashamed of who she was, she would go out in public dressed fiercely, embracing her femininity. I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I wanted to do the same, but because of my Mom, I was afraid.
After a period of following her, Luu uploaded a YouTube video titled, “I am transgender,” explaining what it meant to be a “transgender woman.” I knew she was describing me. I later spent hours researching, trying to figure out if I too was transgender.
Turns out I am. And I am proud to embrace this identity.
I want to send a message to parents of transgender people all around the world: We, your children, already have a difficult time fitting in and coming to terms with the fact that we are considered different.
It is your duty to support us in this time of need and uncertainty.
It is your responsibility to love us for who were are. It is your job to remind us that you care and that no matter how we identify, you will stand by our side.
Dear Mom, I need your love and your support. I need you to accept me as another daughter and not the son you have always wanted.
Alice Evergreen, 18, is the blog name of a recent Golden Valley High School graduates and a veteran youth reporter with We’Ced, one of five New American Media youth-news hubs in California. She loves fashion and makeup and writing about the LGBT community. She hopes to be a psychologist one day to help people in need.