OK, so this blog post has absolutely nothing to do with the FTM guy that’s in the news. I was planning this blog entry before I had heard about all of that. Just a note, though, that I support this fella and feel for him and his wife in this time of media scrutiny and discrimination. If he or any of his friendly acquaintances are reading this, I’d like to pass along my support in this difficult time.
Now, in the online trans community, I’ve read a lot of discussion about how trans people ask their kids to call them something other than the term that was used before transition. I understand that for many trans people, hearing “mom” when they are a guy or vice versa can be difficult. And I know that it must be difficult to feel that one has to ask their child to change the way the refer to them.
In my case, I haven’t found it particularly difficult to reconcile being a guy with being a mom. I guess it’s because I don’t see motherhood as a fundamental part of my identity. It’s important to me and I love my child more than anyone or anything I’ve every loved but “mom” just happens to be the role that I’m playing in his life. Becoming a mom was not crucial to my self-identity. It was a way in which to bring a person that needed to exist into the world. We were meant to be in each other’s lives and this happened to be the way in which this came to fruition.
Another reason that I can reconcile these two realities is that my “guyness” is a transguyness. While there are transmen out there who identify as men, I see myself as a transguy. I don’t know if this will change in time but for now, that is my truth. And since transguy inherently implies being born with girl bits (unless someone has a definition that I don’t know about yet), being a mom is something that one was probably born with the capacity to do. I was and I did. No matter what I become, physically, I can’t (and wouldn’t want to anyway) go back in time and change the fact that I gave birth to my child and breastfed him anymore than I could (and wouldn’t want to anyway) go back in time and change the fact that I was born with XX chromosomes.
So . . . yeah, I’m a guy, a very specific kind of guy who was born with a physical structure that allowed him to experience motherhood. Not only do I not find it problematic to reconcile the two, I think that it’s a great gift. I’m proud and happy that I was able to go through the magical experiences of giving birth and giving a child milk from my own body.
To quote Edith Piaf: “Non, rien de rien. Non, je ne regrette rien.”
So yeah, I’m a mom and a guy. And my son will always be able to call me Mom.