I feel like the last year of my life has been one huge misunderstanding between me and about a third of the people I know and I would like to set the record straight.
In the last 3 years I have heard people blame my husband for Elly. They've claimed that he's the man of the household, he's supposed to be in charge and setting a good manly role model for his kids. Elly has ALWAYS worn dresses (or variations of such) so clearly he failed. I've heard people say that we allowed and encouraged this "lifestyle" and we've twisted our child so now they don't know what they're supposed to be.
Let me just tell you right now, No. I made a choice to let my child walk around the house in my bathing suit top, yes. When you're a parent you pick your battles and that was not a battle I was going to fight. I'd rather you eat dinner than take off your dress. I made a choice to buy her first play dress once she started ripping and stretching my clothes. So I chose to limit the dress up. I chose to allow my kid to pick her Halloween costume, because on Halloween it's ok for any kid to dress as the opposite gender...just not my gender creative 5 yr old. Right. When my kid started trying to shove her genitals back inside her body I got serious. I called our doctor, I made an appt at a gender clinic. I sought out people who'd been there. I'd already chosen to do my research before this even happened because I knew my kid. I knew what I'd seen and what she'd been telling me verbally and otherwise. So I made a choice. I chose to buy a weeks worth of clothes near schools end and sat her down and gave her a choice. Every day. I'd pick 2 "boy" outfits and 2 "girl" outfits and for the entire summer, she picked the "boy" clothes twice. I chose to give her options for a girls name. I chose to call her by the name she picked. I chose to amend my pronouns for her. I chose to stand up for her. I chose to tell our family and friends. I chose to prepare the new school, to educate and advocate and stand firm. These have been my choices. Choosing to follow my kid's lead.
Nowhere will you see that I chose a gender creative child. I had plans for my life. I'd find a man who wanted me, birth beautiful children, serve God and live happily ever after. The details were a bit harried but I knew I would never have an LGBT kid because I would raise them right. They would know their desire would be for the opposite sex, period. Gender was so black and white that I never planned that into my list of potential problems. The fact that at 18 months my husband and I were mentally preparing for a gay son should be enough to tell you that this wasn't anyone's choice. It is and was innate.
Who would choose to raise a child to have them lose job opportunities, lose friends, be bullied, be abused, be suicidal, be marginalized by society, be the punchline, be denied housing, I mean the list goes on and on and it ends with be murdered. WHO would CHOOSE that??
Who would choose to force their child into a box? Who would look right at their child and crush their very spirit, their essence continually? Who would say, I'd rather you be safe than be who you are? I'd rather you fit in than shine like the sun? Who would force a child into their dreams instead of allowing them to dream for themselves?
I'm not that parent. I knew from the day that my child was born 12 weeks early that they were meant for greatness. While people were crying and worrying and saying how sorry they were that we had such a frail and feeble looking child I had no fear. My autistic, possibly transgender daughter is going to move mountains. She is going to be whoever God calls her to be and I'm never going to stifle that. Instead I'm going to celebrate her every accomplishment. I'm going to guide her and train her to be confident and careful. I'm going to support her in her every endeavor. I'm going to talk to her and listen to her. I'm going to pray for her and with her. I'm going to help my child be the very best version of themselves to the best of my ability, regardless of gender. I believe that's what we as parents are called to do. We're called to love all and love much. We're called to love like Christ, without conditions.