We set this blog down about a year ago. Since then, our family has gone through some changes. Don’t worry, we’re not splitting up; the kids are healthy and fabulous; we’re still as over-analytical and opinionated as ever.
But we’re not a two-mom family anymore.
Over roughly the last year, I have dealt with my longstanding gender issues head on. I am now out as trans. I’m a guy. I’m a dad.
You didn’t see that one coming? Yeah, well, in a lot of ways — neither did I (and in other ways, I can’t believe I managed to put it off for so long).
I find explaining this shift challenging, perhaps especially so as I come back to this space, the place where Gail and I defined our existence as a two-mom family, the blog we started, like so many others have started, to document my (ultimately successful) attempts to carry our second child. Figuring out my needs and wants with regard to my gender turned out to be a place where my usual tools of thinking extremely hard and being stubborn as hell didn’t help. Early on, when I first had a glimmer that this might be really important, that my life might need to undergo a pretty radical shift, I expressed exasperation and frustration to one of my closest friends — how could I possibly want/need this? Why didn’t what I have feel like enough? Surely I could be OK if I just tried hard enough. To my eye, there was no way in hell this made the slightest bit of sense, and I really hate things that don’t make sense. As I scrambled around, trying so desperately to think of logical answers, my friend told me this wasn’t something I could think my way through — that I was stuck feeling my way out.
So I did. As bit by bit I’ve made shifts in my life — changes in my appearance, my name, how my friends, family and colleagues refer to and think of me, as I’ve taken some initial medical steps, I’ve felt like I’m coming to life, that I’m taking up residence in a body that I vacated sometime around puberty. This is both exhilarating and extremely painful.
It requires far more than one post to explain how I got to this point, how Gail and I have made this shift together (short version: we’re better now than ever), how our kids have navigated this change (short version: with a lot of grace, insight and some difficult moments). Rather than trying to explain everything all at once, we have ported over some writing that both Gail and I did a bit more privately over the last year, documenting the twists and turns as we worked out who we are now. These posts are dated back to the time they were written. To read back through the story, start here (and you might want to grab some snacks or a cup of coffee…it could take a while). We’ll also be preserving our old posts in their orginal form. I am writing now as Ezekiel, though old posts will still be under my old pseudonym, Lyn. There is occasionally some confusing overlap on the names chronologically, but that’s kind of how it was in real life too, and I think you can figure it out.
Both Gail and I thought of coming back to write here several times over the year. We’ve missed this space, but it’s taken some time for us to be OK with the idea of so clearly linking who we were then with who we are now. It’s pretty uncomfortable, sort of like trotting out an old picture of me in some formal gown and showing it off to everyone (not that there are many such photos, but still…). But we’re also really proud of everything we’ve figured out together as a couple and as parents, and this blog is a central repository of so many of these insights and experiences. This writing has always reflected both who we are and who we strive to be as a family. The mom I was when I wrote here back then — passionate about how we understand and build our roles as queer non-gestational parents, desperate to get pregnant, exhausted and overwhelmed through our first year of parenting two children, excited as we took steps to connect with other families with children via the same donor as our kids — that really was me, as is the dad I am as I write now. There is far more continuity than discontinuity, so we’ve decided we can go with it, that there is nothing here that needs to be erased, and that telling the whole complicated story is better than dividing our lives in two.
Monday is blogging for LGBT families day. It’s a great day to be back.