November is Transgender Awareness Month. I am so proud to share this video from Mia Frances Yamamoto, who transitioned at the age of 60 to be her true self.
I call her my radical warrior friend, not only because of who she is, but because of the work that she does both as an attorney and an advocate for so many marginalized communities. Can you imagine the courage it took to walk into court one day as male and the next day as female? Can you imagine telling all your clients that you are transitioning from male to female and if they are not comfortable you will recommend them to attorneys that you trust?
Last month, I was in New York City to celebrate reaching another decade with four of my friends. Three of these friends I have known since high school, and we were roommates at one time or another in college. My son, Aiden, calls them his “aunties,” because they have loved him through his transition and love him the same today.
We decided on New York, because it got the most votes from all of us and there is so much to do. For me it was a chance to spend time with my college friends and they gave.... Read More
I recently received a very kind note from a man named Herb. In his note, he talked about reading one of my articles and expressed his amazement at my bravery. He also said, “This may be easy for me to tell you, but live each and every day to the fullest with gratitude.” His note came at a very important time for me, and here is the reason why:
I was on a plane from Dallas/Fort Worth to Los Angeles recently. It had been a very successful trip with a LGBTQ training in Shreveport, La., followed by a leadership summit in New Orleans. I was feeling good about everything that.... Read More
Almost two years ago, I left the home I have lived in for close to twenty years: the home where my children were raised most of their lives, and the home that I considered my dream house. To be honest, I went through a period of sadness and fear because of this move. We had sold the house without another place to move to. And we had decided to move from a large property with a huge front and backyard to a condo. Yes, we received a price we couldn’t turn down. Yes, we negotiated a 9-months-free rental clause. And yes, we had no closing costs to pay or no buyers trampling through our house looking in every nook and.... Read More
Recently, I received a message from a mother who asked me, “How do you deal with all the hatred that is in the world?” She has a transgender son, and so I knew her question was directed at me because I, too, have a transgender son, and there are so many states that are trying to implement laws against our children.
I gave her a concise answer about looking for the blessings around me and focusing on what is positive in my life rather than focusing on the negativity that often consumes the news, but her question caused me to reflect even further.
Almost five years ago I retired from a 13-year job that I loved. It was time. And it was also frightening. Work gave me purpose and a place to belong. Would I find that same fulfillment now as a retired person? I had decided to write a book about my journey with my transgender son and also I seemed to be moving in the direction of becoming something I knew nothing about: an LGBTQ activist. Sometimes you just have to follow your heart and take a leap of faith. So that is what I did.
During these past five years, I have learned that my greatest power lies in being myself. I.... Read More
I recently read an article written about a family gathering around their mother as she was dying. I was struck by its vulnerable and loving perspective, but most of all by a concept Heather Plett called “holding space.” According to Plett’s article, “holding space” is about supporting another human being without “judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome.” Holding space means “we open our hearts, offer unconditional support and let go of judgment and control.”
I remember holding space for my mom when she was dying. I didn’t know that a concept like this existed, but I knew.... Read More