July 13, 2017
A Story for Mothers of Trans Daughters
By Kayla Lozano
Everyone has someone they truly look up to, as a young child.
For as long as I can remember, my mother has always been my very first source of inspiration. After all, she taught me to be a woman.
Well, not exactly. And certainly not because she had a choice in the matter.
My mother was someone I looked up to for her beauty, guidance, and personal strength. As a young “girl” in my mind, I always wanted to be like my mother; and, I always wanted to be around her – everywhere she went. I would just watch her, and study her (she is pretty fabulous, by the way).
From as far as I can remember, my mother has always been a very strong woman to me. As a young Mexican American single mother of two, she fought hard and sacrificed so much for her children – always putting us first.
To be quite honest, growing up, I never really knew that we suffered financially, until decades later, when I grew older. You see, my mom did everything she could for us, and we never felt like we were without.
She put herself through nursing school and worked graveyards, just so that she could be with us when we were awake.
When my mother dressed up for church, or other special occasions, I would just marvel at her style. I used to love when my mother would “dress up.” With having two children, going to nursing school full-time, and a part-time job to support us – dress up time was not quite as often as I would have liked. But that didn’t matter to me.
I used to always watch my mother put on her make-up. This was by far, one of those life-changing moments for me, and I used to be so captivated by it. I studied her every move – not like some crazy stalker – but like a young daughter looks up to her mother. She was my princess, and Barbie all in one.
So, unbeknownst to my mother, the minute she left for work, I would sneak into her makeup bag and try to emulate her. It never looked the same, and I can remember that some things were SO hard to remove! I was always SO SCARED that I would get caught.
As I grew a bit older, I used to try on my mother’s shoes, and then some of her old dresses that she never wore anymore. I wanted to be just like her, but deep down, I already knew that this was who I truly was – a girl.
Eventually as I got to middle school, I grew out of my mother’s tiny-sized shoes and dresses. I was left to just admire femininity from afar. When my mom remarried, I still got to help my mom get ready for her dates with my father, and all, and that was really fun! I always felt that we had an unspoken connection when it came to getting “dolled” up.
That connection has always remained.
For mothers who might be reading this:
Please know that your child loves you more than anyone in the world. Also, understand that your trans daughters look up to you. Mothers have always been the inspiration for most transgender girls growing-up. Try to see it as a form of love and admiration. To emulate somebody is to truly be captivated by that person.
Also, PLEASE don’t resort to having negative feelings about your CHILDREN playing dress-up in your clothes. It’s not like it’s a total stranger, it’s your child, trying to cultivate their own identity. Cisgender girls have been playing dress-up with their mother’s things for centuries, and transgender children are NO different.
For my Transgender community:
Understand that many mothers feel connected with us the most because in many cases, they gave birth to us, or was our primary caretaker. It is going to take some time. Unfortunately, that amount of time is up to them. You choose to come out, and they can choose when to accept it.
If time has passed, and you still find no resolution, as MANY of my friends experienced – then the problem is not with you, but rather it is with them. To our parents, many may feel as though there was a death, and that they lost their little boy. This is part of the grieving process, and it happens in stages. All you can do is try to be yourself, as much as it is physically, emotionally, and psychologically possible for you.
Hopefully, sharing a little of my personal experience can be of some help to you. Your experiences will be entirely different, and that’s ok. You want it to be YOUR experience.
Also remember to go easy on your mother. If she loves you unconditionally – and all mothers do – then after some time, she will come around.
All mothers are certainly different, but mine is exceptional. She’s still my hero, and I know that I could not be the girl I am today, if it were not for her. I love you mom.