In the summer of 2009, my good friend Erica Fields talked to me about a concern that her daughter had about celebrating Fatherís Day that year, a first for Erica and her daughter. Her daughter indicated that it just did not feel right and proposed that they pick another Sunday in the year to celebrate their relationship. It would be a day for Erica and her family to recognize Ericaís new status as a trans parent, and they would call it TransParent Day.
When Erica relayed this story to me, I told her the idea was way too good to keep to herself. I immediately registered TransParentDay.org and the two of us formed a mission to spread the word about TransParent Day throughout the world. Our first stop was the Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta, Ga. with a little more than a month away from our first TransParent Day in 2009.
We pounced on the conference with our pink, white, and blue wristbands (worn to show pride in being or having a transgender parent). People got it instantly! Several hundred wristbands later, we had achieved our goal for those daysóget the word out enough so that somebody else knew. We had made an impression.
To date we have distributed over 2,500 of those colorful wristbands and they are worn in most every state in the U.S. and the reach has made it to Asia and Europe. Our hope is to see the day recognized globally.
Transgender Mothers and Fathers
I have had a lot of questions posed with respect to TransParent Day. "Can a transwoman be a mother?" "Is a transman, who has birthed a child, a mother?" I would consider the answer to both questions to be a qualified ìyes.î If we take the biological into the question, any human that gives live birth to another should be considered a mother. But from there it gets cloudy. Adoption, marriage, divorce, surrogacy, foster parenting, and a whole host of other conditions make unusual mothering and fathering situations very possible, and even common. Add being trans to the question, and it just adds an additional set of outcomes.
So who decides you are Mom or Dad or something else?
My contention is that we, the transitioners, do not get to decide this. The kids do. Meaning, if they think you are Mother, or Father, or Maddy, or whatever, they get to decide if your gender has significance on a day of recognition. You do not get to pick. If your kids think of you as Mom, then you are. ëNuff said.
Sunday, Nov. 6 • TransParentDay.org
Maryland TransParent Day 2011 Second Annual Potluck Gathering
Come celebrate TransParent Day in Maryland. Families with trans members of all ages, as well as friends and allies, are encouraged to attend. Bring a dish to share. We will supply beverages, plates, cups, and cutlery. Even if you cannot manage a dish, come anyway. There will be enough food for all. We hope to see you there.
Sunday, November 6 • 2-6 pm.
GLCCB • 241 W. Chase St.