Going on an Outing

Family on Bikes
One of my children has outed me on Facebook. It was not exactly a secret, but at the same time I wasn’t quite yet ready for everyone in my world to know that I am the mother of a transgender adult.

The big story, of course, isn’t mine. If this were a movie, my part would quite rightly end up on the cutting room floor. All of the heavy lifting is being done by my child who has to face important daily conflicts. I’m mostly struggling with things like pronouns and what family members might think. Small potatoes, really.

Fortunately, transitioning to a different gender takes a really long time. Longer than government reviews of oil spills. By the time the review committee has written its report, everyone has forgotten why it was a big deal in the first place. We’ve all moved on, the spill has been cleaned up, and there have been other spills.

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I’m the reviewer of my child’s transgendering, and I don’t have a part to play in the main event at all. Kind of like a Shakespearian chorus. I’m somewhere off in the wings, just making observations and sharing them with the audience. Or, like Pam in The Office, I’m whispering into the microphone of the documentary film-makers.

That’s ok. I can do that. Now, if only I could remember to use the new name and the correct pronoun, this would be a breeze.


  1. Anne, you write so beautifully and sensitively. Your love and support for your child would continue to play a big part in the “movie” as it will in life. I send my best wishes to both of you.

  2. It has just been pointed out to me that being “outed” can mean being shunned, or being “on the outs” with someone in the UK. Neither of these was my intended meaning! When I wrote about “outing” I meant it in the sense that something formerly private has been made public. Rest assured that my children and I are still talking to one another! 🙂

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