**CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS**
Letters for our Children: Voices of Transgender Parents
Edited by Jordan Rice and Nathan Ezekiel
Due: January 20, 2015
We are seeking contributions for a book collection of essays by parents who are trans (to be published by Transgress Press) provisionally titled: Letters for our Children: Voices of Transgender Parents. In this collection we seek to expand the range of stories that reflect our relationships with our children, our place within our families, and our paths as individuals. We define “trans” broadly, welcoming contributions from parents with a range of trans identities and perspectives, including but not limited to trans women, trans men, men and women with transsexual histories and people with non-binary identities such as genderqueer, agender or gender-fluid. Here are some questions that might help you get started telling your story:
1) Experiences of both parenting and of gender and/or transition vary, depending on how one is situated in society, including but not limited to different experiences of race, socioeconomic status, disability, age, citizenship status and geographic location. How have your experiences as a parent and as a trans person been shaped by these factors?
2) Some trans parents are genetically connected to their children and some are not. Some are physically present with their children every day, and some are not due to family separation or other circumstances. How do you experience these connections to your children in light of your experiences of gender and/or transition?
3) How have your decisions about transition interacted with your decisions about becoming or being a parent? For example, did you make decisions about medical aspects of transition with future fertility and/or adoption options in mind, or did your experiences as a parent influence a later decision about transition?
4) Is your understanding of yourself as a parent tied to your experience of gender? Do you define yourself as a mother, father, or something else? What do your children call you and does it reflect this definition? Has the language with which your children address you changed over time?
5) If you co-parent, how have your experiences as a trans person influenced your co-parenting relationship(s)?
6) How have you handled issues of disclosure of your trans status that impact your children? Have you disclosed to them? Why or why not? Have you disclosed to your child’s teacher or school? How has your child handled issues of disclosure to peers and how does your family make decisions about disclosure that impact multiple family members?
7) Do you have conversations with your children about your experiences as a trans person (beyond any initial disclosure discussion)? If yes, how have you explained? How has their understanding shifted over time?
8) If your children are now adults, how has your relationship shifted over time, and how has it been influenced (or not influenced) by your experiences as a trans person?
9) Parents have many points of contact with society, and must often operate in spaces that cannot be safely assumed to be trans-affirming. We interact with daycare providers, doctors and midwives, schools, sports teams, social service agencies, court systems, government institutions and religious communities. How have you navigated these interactions as a parent who is trans? How have your children navigated these interactions?
10) What would you most like your own children to understand about your experiences as a trans parent? What would you most like other parents in your community to understand? Policymakers? Your own family of origin?
These questions are suggestions meant to assist your writing process. Undoubtedly you and your family have experiences that aren’t covered in these questions. Please feel free to write about those experiences as well. Note that your essay does not necessarily need to take the form of a letter, unless you find that format useful to you as a writer.
Who Can Contribute?
Authors who contribute to this submission should be parents and also transgender or transsexual in some form, including but not limited to trans women, trans men, men and women with transsexual histories or people with non-binary trans identities such as genderqueer, agender or gender-fluid. Authors are welcome to contribute whether or not they have taken medical transition steps. We are looking for contributions from people parenting in many ways, including step-parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, parents who do have genetic connections to their kid(s) and parents who do not have genetic connections to their kid(s), birth parents of adopted children, parents who do have a legal relationship to their child and parents who do not have a legally protected relationship, parents who live with their children and parents who live separately from their children. We seek contributions from a variety of ethnicities, racial identities, medical experiences, educational backgrounds, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, and spiritual/religious experiences.
We welcome contributions published under pseudonyms, in part so that people who are not publicly “out” about their trans status, medical history, or their family-building experiences, can feel safe about contributing. We also welcome submissions from those wishing to write more publicly.
We welcome contributions from parents of all ages, with children of any age, from infancy through adulthood. While we recognize that co-parents and people with trans parents also have important stories to share, we are not seeking solo-authored pieces from people who are not trans. However, we do welcome co-authored pieces by multiple family members, provided at least one of the authors is a trans parent. We are not seeking contributions from people who are not yet parents, or from parents of transgender children (unless the parent is also trans). If you feel like you have a story to share that might fit within this collection, but need clarification or aren’t sure if you should submit for some reason, please feel free to get in touch with the editors at email@example.com.
Submission Directions and Deadline:
Word limit for contributions is 2500 words and should be written in microsoft word, google doc, or generic text format (like .rtf). Please send all contributions and queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions are due by midnight, January 20, 2015.
About the Editors:
Jordan Rice‘s poems have been published or are forthcoming in Colorado Review, The Feminist Wire, and Mid-American Review, and have also been anthologized in Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and The Southern Poetry Anthology: Volume V, among many others. Her poems have been selected for the Indiana Review Poetry Prize, the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, and the Richard Peterson Poetry Prize from Crab Orchard Review. She received an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is completing her Ph.D. in English from Western Michigan University. She is also a parent of an incredible, and incredibly brilliant toddler, whose exploration and questioning of all things never ceases to amaze.
Nathan Ezekiel is a mid-30s white transgender man, and father of two kids, currently ages 8 and 5. Nathan and his wife, Angela Gail, have been writing about queer parenting, non-gestational-parenthood, donor conception and parenting through transition at http://firsttimesecondtime.com since 2008. His writing also appeared in “Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family & Themselves” published by Transgress Press.
Transgress Press is a social entrepreneurial press that works to empower trans and queer communities through charitable donations, social programming and publications that dignify and reflect the truth about trans people’s lives. More information is available at http://www.transgresspress.org.
In lieu of royalty for their contributions, authors will receive a complimentary copy of the book and a 40% discount on all books published by Transgress Press.