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Mother’s Day/Father’s Day When Dad is Trans

| May 9, 2016
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With the holidays just upon us, I’ve been thinking about how that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can present some interesting situations and dilemmas when it comes to transpeople. Having two full grown sons (24 and 26) this was something we had to deal with when they were younger. This is certainly not the first thing you think of when you transition and it’s one of those sort of surprise circumstances that can creep up on you.

When the Mother’s/Father’s Day first came up my son’s were 8 and 10 respectively. They had decided to drop the Dad and not replace it with Mom and instead opted to just call me Diane. As an aside, I want to mention that the answer I would give when someone asked me if I missed anything from the “before time” was that I missed being called Dad because it carried special significant meaning just like Mom did. The kids did not want to call me Mom, so we went with Diane which did work to our advantage during their school years when my husband was assumed to be their father and I the step-mom. I sometimes wish I had been as clever as some others that had some hybrid special name such as Maddy which Jenny Boylan’s kids use. I digress… At the time, for the first year they decided on celebrating Mother’s day, but that changed when my younger son Alex said it didn’t feel right. That’s pretty much how it has gone since then with an occasional shift here and there. The situation is actually pretty sweet for me as I basically get an extra holiday out of the deal.

While I was working on this article, I decided to ask both of my sons to write a short piece on their perspective and thought process on the issue. This ended up being a education for me and showed me that my assumed views have been wrong for many years.

My younger son Alex (24) says:

“When it comes to celebrating Mother’s/Father’s day it has always been a little confusing. Most would consider Mother’s day a “woman’s” holiday and Father’s day a “man’s” holiday. However, in order for it to make sense to me, I had to change the standard view. In all ways but gender identity I consider Diane to be my Father. That role was never left empty in my life once Diane transitioned. She has always been someone I would look to with any of my girl troubles, or when I really needed help fixing something that was broken. Not to say I couldn’t get this advice from my biological mother, but it was different. Father’s and Mother’s day are just separate holidays that should simply be a celebration of our parents and what they mean to us, regardless of gender.”

My older son Harry (26) writes:

“On the topic of celebrating Mother’s Day or Father’s Day with Diane, my opinion has changed over the years. Originally I assumed we would continue to celebrate as we always had, giving Mother’s Day to my mother and Father’s Day to Diane, my father. If calling Diane my father seems strange or confusing, allow me to clarify. From the moment Diane came out to me, one thing has always been clear: there were going to be a lot of changes, but the one thing that would never change is who Diane is. Celebrating Father’s Day with Diane, despite the fact that she is a woman, or celebrating Mother’s Day, despite the fact that she never gave birth to me, has never felt strange or unusual to me at all. If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past decade and a half, it’s that gender has so little to do with who a person really is. Diane has always been there to give advice and support me, even when so few others would or could help. She’s given me unconditional love for my entire life, and it’s that that makes her my parent. My love for her doesn’t change on any particular day for any particular reason, so in the end, which day I celebrate her as my parent doesn’t really make a difference to me. Whichever day makes her feel the most comfortable is the one I want to celebrate.”

Pardon me while I wipe away a few tears… After reading these wonderful words from my sons I want to acknowledge that many of you are not as fortunate as I am when it comes to your relationship with your children and/or your parents. This can make these particular holidays extremely heart wrenching. To those of you in that situation I can only say that if you had a good relationship before you came out as trans, that will ultimately win out and as long as you treat them with the love you always have, I really feel it will just be a matter of time.

So as to the question of celebrating Mother’s Day or Father’s Day it seems to me that while I was worrying about what would make my children comfortable, they were doing the same for me. This I feel speaks directly to the heart of the issue which is that ultimately it does not matter which if any of these two holidays you celebrate. What’s important is that you love and support each other. That you are there for each other and that the relationship that you have together is based on love.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul


About the Author ()

Diane was born and raised in New Jersey. She has two fully grown sons and a husband of thirteen years. Diane runs a two small businesses and in her spare time enjoys strategy board gaming.

Comments (2)

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  1. I am Sorry. Thank you Diane.

  2. Beautiful. Thank you Angela!

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