The Blue Fairy waved her magic wand today and turned my child into a real live boy.
At least, that’s a little bit how it felt, opening our passports.
The federal government legally recognized my son as a boy.
We danced for ten minutes in the middle of the kitchen.
He checked again and again, where it reads Sex, to make sure his had an M. Then he looked at mine, just to be sure it read F.
It makes me a little sad, to be honest. Sad to think of what he would have done, if I hadn’t been here to advocate for him, to be his front line of defense, to fight his battles, so he can live happily and authentically on his own. I think of all the countless people in this country without a mom or a dad, or really anyone at all, to stand at their side.
Sad to think about how, until 2010, he couldn’t have gotten a passport without hacking off parts of his body. Not in Illinois, anyway, or in a majority of the states in our country. Illinois requires surgical intervention, to prove that he’s man enough.
In 2010, an executive order from Obama legally recognized a change in gender based on treatment from a medical doctor. No longer did a trans person have to surgically or chemically alter their bodies to prove their gender.
This is, perhaps, the greatest thing a country can do.
Since as early as I felt it was appropriate to teach my child to love his body, I found ways to build up his self-esteem and his body image.
He’s never hated his body, despite that he has body parts, and knows that he has body parts that are typically associated with female identified individuals. He has never wished for anything other than what he has. When his little brother points out their differences, my son patiently explains that he is a boy with a vagina and his brother is a boy with a penis.
And you know what? My three year old has no trouble accepting this at all.
I know that puberty might change those things. Both physically and mentally. But puberty might also bring puberty blockers, if he chooses, which will stall the inevitable and irreversible changes that occur when estrogen enters the body. And when he’s old enough and ready, he might start hormone replacement therapy, which will bring about the deeper voice and hairy face and chest that we have come to associate with male identified individuals. He knows that his anatomy won’t change and he doesn’t care. And at that time in his life, he might still love his body. I hope and pray he still loves his body.
But the state of Illinois tells him that he isn’t man enough.
That he will never be man enough until he takes a knife to his body to affirm his gender.
That he will never be a real boy until he hacks away the strings.
But the federal government, at least for now, agrees with me. That my child is perfect exactly as he was made. That my child doesn’t need to change a thing.
We didn’t need any Blue Fairy today.
My son is a real boy, with or without strings.
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