February 13th, 2021 marked my 13th year of being a Mom. My oldest child turned 12.
At 3:13am on Friday, February 13th, 2009, my hubby and I were blessed with our gorgeous girl, Hannah Grace, at 6lbs 1oz and 19″ long. Those first few minutes were “interesting”. I knew something was not right. Finally the respiratory therapist said that her lungs had some fluid on them so they need to take her to the NICU. They let me hold her then she and Daddy went away…
Our first 5 days were spent in the NICU for 12 hours a day… bonding and loving our baby while their lungs strengthened and she had jaundice… pretty simple compared to other stories I know.
What a kid she was… well still is but I will get into that. 😀
Fast forward to grade 3… Hannah is 7 and things are starting to change. I am noticing things are starting to change. She is leaning more toward “boy toys”, not wanting to wear dresses and “girlie” colours. I start thinking “what if my child is gay?”
To understand the gravity of this question, you need to understand I am a born again Christian who believes Jesus Christ is my Saviour. Now, the church has had a bad reputation in regards to the LGBTQ+ community and I will admit, I was right along there with it for a long, long time. God placed many people in my life over my years who helped me to see that His love is the most important thing to remember in all of that.
As I contemplated the possibility of my child being gay, all I could think about was “what will people think of me? will they think I am a failure as a Mom? as a Christian? What will they think?” Looking at it now, it is incredibly selfish but it is exactly how I felt. That fear was so deep in me and I had no idea what do to about it. I wrestled with “what would the church say? Would they be supportive? Would we still be loved and accepted? Would we be kicked out? What would we do then?” Again, substitute all of the “we’s” for I because really all of my thinking was about me.
These questions went on in my head for 2 years on and off… I had no idea who I could talk to about it. Because, let me tell you, it’s not something that is talked about at all in the church, unless it is in the negative. I am sorry if that offends some of my religious friends but it’s the truth!
In grade 5, Hannah’s class had their sex talk in school. I told Hannah that they will probably talk about a lot of things that we have already talked about and that’s ok. That evening they came home and I am asked what they learned about. Hannah told me there is a difference between your gender and your identity – yellow flags went up in my head. I got the courage to ask her the question if she felt more like a boy than a girl. She though about it for a second and said NO. I told her if she did have that feeling that she could come and talk to us.
Gay, lesbian, and transgender were the limit of my vocabulary, at the time, when it came to the LGBTQ+ community. I knew about men loving men, women loving women, and people want to changed their sex that was it. So on my limited knowledge I continued my journey.
Well… that was about to change!