I won’t make a cop-out statement that “I am who I am” or “I’m the same person I always was”, because, quite honestly, I’m not -AND- if you would have asked me this even a year ago, I would have not agreed with what I just said.
My role will remain the same so long as responsibility is attached to it. I will never stop being a father even though my kids call me Chloe. THEY know who and what I am to them, still, those days of father comes to school for show and tell can be tough on them and me. Last Christmas, my children had such an event - now I am a staunch Transperson - committed in my path… but… the politics of that became water over the dam when my six year old ask the Phone Man to come for Father career day at school… how could I disappoint him?
I had thought to ask my father to fill in as some other children did with their grandparents for whatever reason they did. But that’s not the point. My child HAS a father - ME! Could I be Chloe and represent his Daddy too?
Nervous, I arrived at the school and awaited in the lounge as requested by my sons teacher. A class room of 1st graders awaited -what would they think? How would my son be treated and viewed by his class mates after this day? The teacher walked in and after a short conversation on what to expect and cover with the class, we headed to the room.
When I walked in, I didn’t even notice what the class room looked like - all I could do was scan the room for my son… and there he was. In that moment, he turned to the visitors walking in the room and when I walked in with my AT&T clothes, tool belts, meters , pinned back hair, and pulling off the best male look I could, he exclaimed to the children “That’s my Daddy!”…
At that point, all my inner term-oil of presenting myself in this manner were washed away. I began to show the kids photos of me on the job, climbing poles with ladders and spike… going down manholes, in creepy dark tunnels under the city and even riding a cable car that trolleys you out to fix a cable where ladders and bucket trucks can not reach - for example, cable that runs over a wide river (Someone has to get out there and repair the cable when it goes bad there - how else do you think we do it?) The kids loved it.. and they loved seeing all my gadgets and learning what they do and how the phones, Internet and TV is all brought to homes, schools and commercial buildings. THAT’S LOGAN’S DAD’S JOB!
I had thought to go as Chloe - because, honestly, my children know me no other way. Their pre-schools, friends parents and neighbors ALL know me as Chloe and as a Transgendered person. Why did I revert back to being a male for this period?
That my sisters and brothers, is a mystery that may only be unraveled in the silence of the night when you walk in your sons bedroom and he is fast a sleep with a smile on his face, clutching on to his toy phone man truck…
I know my role… and I know where that role is buttered too.
Yahoo 360 Blog Comments
You have a good heart and soul. Good luck on your journey.
Wednesday April 23, 2008 - 01:51pm (EDT)
Kids are more resilient than we realize. I had the same concerns as you, as my teenage son lived with me during my first year in transition. My concerns were for naught though, because even though everyone at his school learned about his dad switching gender, they were all really cool about it. I'd been to his school numerous times... always as Michelle... and he was never teased. In fact, one of the boys even called me a MILF (grin).
Wouldn't it have been a hoot, if you had gone as Chloe?
Wednesday April 23, 2008 - 11:12am (PDT)
I read your blog and said wow what a inner soul u have and how much u have to give to people. You do in the moment what u need to do. I will keep u in my prayers and u go onward...wherever that leads you my friend.
Wednesday April 23, 2008 - 02:18pm (EDT)
Angel, I have gone to each of their schools as Chloe, and like your son and son's school mates, they do not tease my kids, rather ask questions. Their teachers knew I was Transgendered and made no issue of it - except to request that my kids do not talk about it in class, instead if they feel the need to talk about it, or children have questions, they are invited to speak witht he teacher about it. But for this circuimstance, my son needed is his Daddy... and I was happy to provide that need as best I could.
To Debby and Smitty, thank you for taking the time to read and get to know me more. You are new friends to me here, thus proving that keeping my 360 alive is well worth the frustrations we are all going through.
Bless you all,
Wednesday April 23, 2008 - 02:28pm (EDT)Wow Chloe I don't know what to say. My son is getting married in September and is hoping I'll wear a tux. His future father-in-law is officiating the wedding. Yep both his in-laws are ordained ministers. All invited know I am trans woman so I'm searching my soul for how to attend.
My spouse pointed out a pink woman's pant suit I might wear. That's one of the wedding colors so we'll see. I just don't think I can be comfortable there in a tux playing father of the groom. Yet I don't want to make others uncomfortable either. Guhh, some decisions are so very difficult.
I want that smile on my sons face too. My heart is aching on this one.
Wednesday April 23, 2008 - 11:30am (PDT)Teri, you get it... you understand how hard it was for me to do what I had to do... but I decided to not make "the Moment" about me, cause it wasn't about "Me", it was about my son.
If I had gone there as Chloe, it probably would have been ok too. Bur, that wasn't the point - the point was to fullfil a need, no matter the price to fullfil that need and responsibility I took on as a father - no matter how I felt about it.
It took me a few days to come to that, and even waiting in the teachers lounge to go to the class room, I was in pure hell... seeing all the pretty teachers in their nice professional out fits - living their full fem self lives... I tell you I was eating my soul out.
Walking into that class and seeing my sons delight, well, I knew that "HE" got it too. He understood, even at 6, that I did something for him. He realized that his daddy is always with him and will rise from the ashes to rescue and protect him in a moments notice - that HE is a priority to me, and my needs are second.
Some would say "Then why Transition at all"? Thats easy: You transition to save yourself, but I'm no longer dying Teri (not from this), and I can take a moment to remove the oxygen mask from my face to put it on those that need it.
I guess in the end what really sunk in was that I was more upset that I could not make a statement by being myself in all aspects of my life - be it my work, church and even my sons Show and Tell for Fathers. I realized that it wasn't about being myself then - now it was about an agenda... and I was being selfish.
My son and his freinds and his school know me as Chloe too - but thats the beauty of being Transgendered - we are who we are no matter the clothes. I present feminine - but even post op, I am under no dilusions that I am their mother or a natal woman - I am not. I am a surgicaly ultered Male or aka: M2F Transexual. Period. I will live and present as a woman - but I will not rule out those special moments that (as Smitty pointed out) "I will have to do what I have to do".
Personally, if I was going to go to a wedding - I'd dress like all the other females by wearing a dress (if that was what everone else was doing) Dress Pants to me, would be "skirting" the issue (Pun intended) & (Giggles)! I look forward to hearing what you decide.
If and when my sons do have these special moments - I will ask them what their wishes are and I will do my best to fullfil their need - it is all I can do.
Kari had the same issue come up but in a different way - She was invited by her Ex to attend her wedding. However, the crushing blow came to her when she was UN-Invited to that wedding because the Ex realized that if Kari came, the attention at the wedding would not be 100% about Kari's Ex and new husband - it would be about Kari - the Ex Transexual. Kari was crushed.. just absolutely crushed - but she showed me depths of a human being that I never knew exsisted when she explained to me how she understood and was dealing with it and in the end, she agreed with the ex and did NOT want to make the day about her... besides... adding insult to injury was the fact that she had ordered a beautiful dress to wear there and was now holding the bag with no where to wear it - AND we all know how that feels... *Shutters*
These are my truths and how I handle them - in no way will I judge or look down on ANYONE that handles their situation differently or who disagrees with how I handle mine. To each their own situations.
Wednesday April 23, 2008 - 03:25pm (EDT)
Chloe, another awesome blog. You REALLY need to come spend a week here with us, soon. We've very much in common, and loads to talk about... Dads do whatever dads can for thier children. There are no limitations when it comes to our kids. We are simply parents who love our children unconditionally. When Reg and I moved back down here to Tampa, my first inclination was to live in the same town from whence I came (Spring Hill). Louisa (my ex) has her reasons that come from her instincts as the ever-protective mother. She doesn't want to risk running into people either she or Kayleigh knows and would be put in an awkward position should she have to introduce me or explain the embarrassing circumstances of my now being female to them. Lord knows what the kids in school would do to Kayleigh if they ever caught wind of such tid-bits of shocking local hillbilly news. She most certainly would be the outcast for years to come. <<>> Sorry, but I cannot let that happen to my child, either. I can preach TG enlightenment for the rest of my life, but the minute Kayleigh asks me to be her *father* in a public forum (such as your son's school event), I'll be putting on those drabs and giving the old "man" act another brief go 'round... or if one of the two boys wants to play some baseball, I'll be reaching for my cleats, bats and glove without any hesitation, whatsoever. Not all aspects of my past male bravado were horrible or despicable. In fact, I'm damn proud of a good part of them, and probably always will be. xoxo -Jess
Wednesday April 23, 2008 - 04:41pm (EDT)Chloe, I think this story tells me a great deal about your own personal maturity, not that I’m a person to be judging your character. But having known you for some time now, and having read your blogs over the last year, I know this used to be a topic that clearly vexed you (as it still does me).
For a transperson to be able to see the simplistic need of a child and to “sacrificially” put his or her status on hiatus in order to do what they see is best for their child to me is simply admirable. There is definitely those in the camp who would argue “No, you should use this opportunity to show people you are who you are, and they are the ones who need to deal with it.” I’m not in that camp in this specific instance. You know who you are, and your life and your relationship with your children is ever evolving.
The day will come when “only Chloe” matters. I don’t think this was that day.
Wednesday April 23, 2008 - 02:01pm (MST)Chloe, To me your story shows what a wonderful person and more importantly woman you are. On this occasion you put the needs of the children far above yours, which shows the care and love you have for them. You were woman enough to put their needs at the time far above your own.
Wednesday April 23, 2008 - 11:22pm (BST)
Many struggles with the "Inner self" as well as the "Outer self" going on here.
Sure being single you would have less problems but still have family struggles. And some to help with that just move to another location and start a new life somewhere else.
But when you have already established a life with a wife and children(expecially the children)(wives you can divorce) you take on 2 roles.
Sure alot of these struggles are hurdles that you have already crossed and there are more to come.
There will be no crossing over from the "mans" world so to speakand then back to the "female" side. Y
Yes the female side has taken over, as many times it does. But there still is the "male" gender side that was born and raised as such still trying to give a kick now and then to let you know he is stll around.
Living both genders has its advantages though. You know being male what attracted you to females and the roles each played in society.
Then again maybe crossing over won't be as bad as I am thinking. Maybe you have jumped over the hurdles I am talkin about. Even I have "What Ifs?".
This TG world forks in so many different directions. We could sit here and talk all day. abput each others struggles, views and how we might deal with issues. Hell we could make our own talk show(If you do this I want my gratuity for coming up with the idea).
I'll let you go for now. Always nice talkin with you. Sorry about my ramblin'
Wednesday April 23, 2008 - 06:52pm (EDT)
Chloe, you're right. In my first comment, I neglected the age difference. My son was 16 and also had the option of living with his mother in a different town if things didn't go well. When my children were little, I didn't even consider transition an option... I had a responsibility to them as their father, and their needs and the needs of my wife were far more important than my desire to be a woman. I do not envy you - and others - who have to perform such a delicate balancing act.
I'm glad that you put your son's needs first.
Wednesday April 23, 2008 - 04:11pm (PDT)Jessica, I don't have to tell you - I know your in the same situation and I feel a personal growth inside me from talking to Reg and you on the phone as well as reading your Blogs. I hope to take you up on coming to Florida very soon and stay with you for a bit, meeting your families and getting to know you both on a more personal level. There are Dayds I just KICK myself for not making that trip over to PA when you were only a few hours away.Wednesday April 23, 2008 - 09:08pm (EDT)
Lori, I am humbled by your observation. You are performing such an important and dangerous service to all of us - You risk your life for the better of all of us... and in that field, you are a leader. I feel quite honored to have earned your friendship, let alone your favor for my growth.You, as well as Jessica above are 2 very special friends to me because we are in almost identical situations with our kids.I wish you both were closer so that we could lean more on one another - but thank God we have this internet forum.
Davinia, Its always a treat to hear from you - (I cought you over on my Vimeo Page too
Thanks for the comments there and here. I am "Learning" to make others a priority - its SO hard some times to realize that you are being selfish or self centered - and when your not or infact NEED to be selfish. When it comes to my Kids, I can't say I have always done that... I am learning and trying to now... I have alot of tranish to polish in my family relationships... I did alot of selfish things - but I know now and I am trying.
Tamera, "Size zero??" You Bitch!!! lol Good for you babe - You never fail to look great. Seriously though, I agree with you that living both genders has its advantages - it has its disadvantages too... There isn't a day that goes by that I do not privately envy Cross Dressers or PRE & NON Op, Part Time TS's that have compartmentalized their life successfully, maintaining their duality of Gender Treking. GAWD, this would havebeen great - but it really is NOT an option or a choice for me. I MUST be Chloe ALL the time cause there never was a Ted... Just Chloe whom was programed at birth - told what to do, where to stand and what I can and cannot be. Being of my own mind and freeing myself from the guilt, I am left weightless to float to the top as my true self for all to see... there is nothing to keep me below... because I left those chains at the bottom of the ocean.
Angel, I have thought many times if my sons will treat me different as they get older. I mean - they are so good to me now and are not confused at all... but we all know how peer presure is. I have to be careful making these concessions too many time, because I do not want it to become expected ALL the time - by them, or anyone else. I don't want to present a message that they could interpreted as "Daddy is Better, because Chloe is not understood or feared by others".
Diane, Here is a close copy of the old one I had that is now my kids.
Thanks everyone for commenting here - AND for sticking around 360. I just love you all and feel so stressed lately as I watch people leaving one by one - thanks for sticking around! *Group HUG*Chloe, as usual, you stuck the hammer right on the head of the nail. You are so with it is so uncanny. I hope others can learn from you and practice those lessons in everyday life.Wednesday April 23, 2008 - 10:55pm (EDT)
We all, at times, must do what is for the better despite how we feel internally. I know a many of a TG sister that has said the hell with it for 'I am who I am' (to paraphrase). You, and likewise many other sisters myself inclusive, do not take that path. You and I have talked in the past just how important your children are to you. They always will be long after they go to college and begin their adult lives. One thing that no one can say about you is that you were a poor parent.
One thing though, I hope you did not have a purple tongue when you addressed your son's class! ROFL!
P.S. Yes, I'm migrating my Y360 page, yet I'm still here (my Yagooy email and YIM will remain...my blogs are migrating to LiveJournal and media to Facebook - in fact, if it works well, FaceBook for the time being, will be the overall replacement of my Y360 content as I can RSS from LiveJournal to FaceBook). As for leaving you and never being in touch again, well ain't gonna be. You're stuck, like it or not! ;-)Chloe,
I admire you.
My youngest asked me today when I picked her up from daycare a question I didn't see coming as she has called me Karissa for over a year now. I had buckled her in and when she started to drive away I heard her say "daddy, I don't want to call you Karissa anymore because mommy has a new husband and you are my daddy so I want to call you daddy again"
Talk about being caught off guard. To a four year the complexities of how people see us in a store or so on just aren't understood and I so want her to be comfortable with these next set of changes that are going on.
It was only a month ago that she had called me her second mommy and now she has changed her mind because she "WANTS" a daddy - and in her eyes… that isn't my EX's new husband.
I've been to the school a ton of times now and as the changes that took place move farther and farther into the past - being the trans parent isn't something that I had wanted because I wanted my kids to be treated the same by the other kids. I learned that the kids don't care, aside from the other 2 moms I am friends with... the other mom's assume I am the Aunt or actually my EX.
As time moves on - I don’t really know what’s ahead of me or how I will see the situations until they actually occur. Life goes on - I don't know if today's request will be repeated, or even what I will do if it is - All I can say is that I do admire you very much.
Take care sweetie.
Thursday April 24, 2008 - 12:56am (CDT)have always been hesitant to engage my female life with my childrens social life. That is a part of their life that they work at that excludes us as parents. Like it or not it eventually happens. However..they both know of their Fathers activity. And as cool as that is..I woul dnever show up dressed as Mom at a one of their ball games. instead I show up as a poorly dressed man with clothes I never wear.
Thursday April 24, 2008 - 12:10am (PDT)Chloe, although I can't relate to you here, not having any children, my admiration for you only gets stronger. You are an amazing woman, my friend, and I'm sure one fine dad, too.
Thursday April 24, 2008 - 06:04am (CDT)Hi CHLOE
Just wanted to say thats a wonderful blog and story hear on your 360 .
Best wishes for your upcoming trip .
Lots of love .
Thursday April 24, 2008 - 04:22am (PDT)Since we are Trans, we need to learn how to operate in the grey, more often than the pink or blue. Militancy will get us no where, but submitting to our roles will help us to mainstream most effectively. Thanks for posting Chloe.
Thursday April 24, 2008 - 10:33am (EDT)As you and I have discussed, I think the most difficult part of transition is not the obvious things like costs, proceedures and medications, but the impact on the family and in particular the children. I took an easier path to wait until they were much older(young adults) before I began the process more intensely. I have been to your home and I saw your children and how they love you and embrace you as Chloe and I think we make sacrifices in life for our children because we love them. Children today are more curious but they are also more adaptive than we were as well. I am glad you had a great time in school being your son's Dad and showing the children what you do on the job. Hugs, Melissa
Thursday April 24, 2008 - 10:56am (EDT)Chloe,
We can all learn a lesson from your story. Children are impressionable and if they feel most comfortable calling us their Daddy even after our transitions, we should abide by that comfort zone of the child. As you pointed out, you are your little boy's daddy and he is proud of you. I am too. You did good.
I don't have any children and my family line stopped with me and my sister. Now that she's gone, I have only me but if I had a child, I hope that I would do the right thing just as you did. I would hate to risk losing their love and affection just because I might have been made to feel uneasy about myself.
I got much out of your story. Thank you!
Thursday April 24, 2008 - 09:00am (PDT)Glad you and your son enjoyed yourselves at the school event. Tina is only part time for me. So I may not know, but do understand what you had to go through. I think you made a wise decision. Family and friends are one thing, but other parents is a whole different story. You see it on the news all the time. It's always good to here stories with happy ending.
Thursday April 24, 2008 - 11:35am (CDT)
Once again you demonstrate that you have a HEART Chloe....and if you continue to follow it, you'll always know which "role to play" (easy on the butter though) *wink*
Thursday April 24, 2008 - 07:49pm (EDT)Chloe, what an excellent episode. Very brave of you to be so determined and forthright. All the best and thankyou for sharing... it is quite an experience! By the way, if we do need a "phone man" or a strong person to help, you would be the one I would call! Regards Kerrie
Friday April 25, 2008 - 11:35am (MDT)Chloe, what a wonderful story. As a parent we always have to put our children first. What you did was a selfless loving acted, that I am sure has not gone unnoticed. I think by going to your sons class as his 'Dad' speaks more about who Chloe is as a person then if you went in everyday mode. It is that person that keeps me coming back here reading your blogs.
Saturday April 26, 2008 - 08:02am (PDT)
Chloe - oh wow. That was very sweet and selfless of you. Kids remember the love and the attention they get. Both your story and Karissa's almost made me cry. I can't imagine how difficult and yet rewarding it can be to be a trans-parent.
Monday April 28, 2008 - 08:16am (CDT)