Loving Your Sweetie No Matter What – Lessons Of Love From Transgender Families

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Over the weekend I ran across an MSN video about a member of the U.S. Air Force, Senior Airman Logan Beck Ireland and his fiance, Laila, entitled “Transgender, At War And In Love”. It was an amazing story of a young couple, who are both in the military, and are both transgender.

Logan shares that he just recently told his Commander that he is transgender. Having never gone through this type of life experience myself, nor through either of my children, I was completely unaware of some of the things that transgender people have to deal with, but it got me thinking about how I would have responded if one of my children were transgender and just how important it is to love your kids as they are.

For example, the video indicates that there are over 15,500 transgender people serving in the U.S. military, however it goes on to say that “current policy prohibits their open service” which means Logan could now be discharged even though he has been serving for several years and appears to be doing a great job!

Logan also mentions that very few people in Afghanistan, where he is currently stationed, know about him being transgender, however when he is back in the U.S., he is still seen as female and goes by female regs and standards. (Check out the video, I think you will agree that nothing about Logan appears to be even “kinda” female!) This has to be a very difficult experience. He also says that because of this, he is more able to be his authentic self in Afghanistan and it is therefore more of a vacation for him – even though it is a war zone!!

His fiance, Laila, is a member of the U.S. Army and is a Health Care Management Administration Specialist and is also transgender. She has been in the military for 12 years! Her current supervisor actually tells Laila to correct patients when they are speaking to her to not use female pronouns! (Again, if you watch the video, you will not see anything about Laila that appears to be at all male!) They even make her use the male restroom and follow male regs and standards!!!

This story reminded me of an article and video I saw online back in April about a 5-yr old transgender boy named Jacob that was extremely heart touching, entitled “Jacob’s Journey: Life As A Transgender 5-Year-Old“.

It was such an amazing story of a family with two little girls, but one of them showed signs from a very young age that she identified more completely with being a boy.

While the whole story of Jacob is really amazing, the most astounding part of Jacob’s story to me are the parents!! They were/are so loving, strong and supportive of what they see as the truth for their child, regardless of what the neighbors, other family members or society may think!!  It is beautiful and provides such powerful insights and lessons for parents, families, and the rest of the world to love your children from birth ON…!

Yes, there will be challenges, frustrations, joys, death, addictions, terrible or terrific twos (depending on your perspective), learning to crawl, sickness, hurt feelings, learning to communicate, learning to get along, the teen years, unexpected pregnancies, etc. But when everyone can remember about learning to love and keep returning to that throughout all life’s curves, at least you still have each other. You also probably have healthier happier people, relationships, countries and worlds!

As a mom who grew up in a time when so many things were more looked down upon and hidden than now, like homosexuality, interracial relationships, transgenderism, etc, I saw and experienced things like parents not letting their kids play with a friend because they were the wrong religion (not a “bad” kid, just not a member of their church), parents “disowning” or not speaking to their kids because they didn’t go to school like they wanted, or go into the profession they thought was best, or dated or married someone they did not approve of, etc. There were also a lot of people not “following their passion” because their parents didn’t feel it was the responsible or wise thing to do, or because they didn’t think it would pay the bills, so they didn’t encourage it or really support it financially.

While many of these concerns have some validity to them, and therefore seem wise to take into account, does that really mean that it should stop you from “following your bliss” or being true to who you really are (I am not talking about people who want to do violating things here like murder, rape, etc.), and from doing something that you love and makes you happy?

I also ran across the story of Avery (here), a 7-year-old transgender who was born a boy, but said she knew in her heart she was a girl. Her parents have also been very supportive and I think the following quote from her father is pretty insightful.

“My wife and I decided that we would much rather have a happy, healthy daughter than a dead son,” he wrote. “In the time since her transition, a spunky and confident little girl has emerged.”

In contrast to these families, just imagine how challenging and difficult the lives of people who have had to repress this for so long have been? Some of the more  recent “coming outs” of people like Bruce Jenner and Lana Wachowski (one of the directors of the Matrix trilogy) illustrate this.

Bruce is finally able to feel like he can be authentically him – at age 65! While Lana finally felt comfortable to come out in July, 2012 – at age 47! Jacob’s parents supported him in doing it at 5!!!

I am so happy to see society moving more and more into acceptance on these things, and encourage all mamis to remember to love your Sweeties, through all their learning and blossoming. Appreciate them for the beautiful, unique people that they are, while supporting them and encouraging them to grow and strengthen their own special gifts to share with the world!

In what ways can you encourage or support what is precious and amazing about your Sweetie(s) or loved ones at this time?  What actions, large or small, have you found helpful to support and encourage your Sweetie(s) in the past that might be helpful to other readers?

Blessings to you and thank you for all the loving parenting you do, it makes a better world, one Sweetie at a time.

Hug attached,

Koolma  : )

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