BUT WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS?
The questions I get asked most often when I decide to out myself to someone new are:
WAIT WHAT NO WAY? FOR REAL?
For so real. Like the realist.
WHO’S KID’S ARE WHO’S?
They are all ours. But I birthed 4 of them. Which of your kids are yours? Did you have them “the old fashioned way?” (I like the use of humour and almost always in a kind tone.)
HOW DO YOU GUYS HAVE SEX? WILL YOU GROW A PENIS? HAVE YOU HAD “THE SURGERY?”
You just shouldn’t ask these. Unless you want me to ask all the same questions to you. “But is he circumcised? What do you do when it’s not hard anymore? So wait the sex is just over whenever he orgasms?” (Yeah, I didn’t think so.) If you’re curious, that’s okay, just ask Google, they are so open with their sharing!
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS?
You’re right! I totally forgot about those 5 tiny humans, 4 of whom I LITERALLY GREW INSIDE OF ME AND THEN WAS THEIR ONLY LIFE FORCE FOR MONTHS AFTERWARDS. Silly me!
THESE KIDS ARE MY EVERYTHING.
How could they not be? They are 5 glorious perfect little humans.
Like most moms, they were my reason for doing everything. Turning their lives upside-down when I left their dad was the hardest thing I had ever done in my whole life.
My big fear was that changing something so fundamental as me, their mom, would be just too much. So I waited. I tried to talk myself out of what I needed to be me. I talked to therapists and read books and scoured all the deep dark holes of the internet.
Turns out you should stay out of those deep dark holes. You learn a lot of things you didn’t need to know in the bowels of Tumblr. Not much about coming out as trans to your kids. Tons about coming out as trans to your folks, though!
So when everything went so much better than I could have ever imagined, I realized that for kids, it’s not really a big deal. I wouldn’t take back that preparation for anything. And I think that the way their other Dad and I raised our kids before all of this, and how Katherine raised our Adventure before I came along has so much to do with it. BUT, kids don’t need us to fit into these rigid boxes. Kids who are not my kids, who don’t come from liberal families, who have never been exposed to diverse types of people ask me questions all the time.
“HEY EPIC’S DAD? DIDN’T YOU USED TO BE EPIC’S MOM? ….. SO LIKE YOU’RE A TOMBOY, BUT WITHOUT THE GIRL PART. LIKE MAYBE THE DOCTORS WERE WRONG?….. OH…. OKAY. COOL. SEE YOU TOMORROW EPIC’S DAD!”
THAT WAS A REAL LIFE CONVERSATION WITH AN 8 YEAR OLD BOY!
THE KIDS AREN’T THE PROBLEM, PALS.
The problem is in the story that the adults have bought into that means a girl can only be a girl one way. And a boy can only be a boy one way. And a person has to fit into one of these binary. The stories are wrong. There are so many ways of being in this world.
So when Canada’s Campfire reached out to tell my bravest story ever, I knew that telling my kids my truth about who I am was the only option! That showing the world that it really isn’t that complicated. That when someone tells you their truth you believe them and love them, because their truth has always been there, now you just get to know it.
I’m so grateful to have this piece of art that tells just a part of our family’s story.
This post originally appeared on NickNorth.Co
Nick North is a dude, a husband, a dad to 5 kids and a Branding Strategist. He also has a history of living as a woman, a wife, a mom, a photographer and even an EMR. When he embraced his identity and came out as transgender, he realized just how much gender affects the way we think, talk, sell and function. He now speaks from his experience on both sides of the gender coin, empowering men and women to live authentically and powerfully, while also making more money following their passion and their gut. You can find him at www.nicknorth.co or sharing many a topless photo and big feelings on Instagram @epicdanger.