We let her wear girl clothes at home for a long time before we did it publicly. This was my compromise to her pleas and begging to be a girl. That lasted for over a year. A year! What message does that send about self acceptance? It sends a message of shame is what it does. Sometimes our best intentions as parents, are just not good enough. I can’t kick myself anymore for it but for a while I felt guilty and just truly sorry I let it go on for that long.
After we wrote the coming out letter, I took Q for a walk and finally told her that we let everyone know she is now a girl. That she doesn’t have to pretend to be a boy anymore. She smiled a huge smile and said, “really mommy, really!?”. I nodded, gulped, and stuttered when I said, “yes sweetie, really”. She was content and happy. She paused and had one simple question.
“Can we buy a dress?”
For my dress hating self, this was not going to be easy. I took a deep breath and started my journey of better acceptance of my kid.
The next day we went to the store. I had approximately 8.5 panic attacks on the way there. We walked in, Q holding my hand, and she looked up at me searching for approval of which “side” she should go on. The boys side or the girls side? I nodded nudged her along to the girls side. Soon we were swimming in pinks, purples, teals, and cheery yellows. I wanted to vomit, but glad that I did not.
She sifted through each and every dress to find the perfect one. She found it and then promptly found 10 others. After intense 4 year old negotiation, we settled on 3.