Let your kid spread their wings and fly

My 5-year-old (let’s call them “Butterfly Kid”) was born male but has been saying they are girl for at least two years now. Butterfly Kid wants to grow their hair long and is experimenting with new names such as “Charlotte” and “Georgia”.

Butterfly Kid wants to be able to go to the girls’ toilet at school. Butterfly Kid wants Santa to bring lipstick for Christmas – thank god, they didn’t ask for an iPad or a puppy. Butterfly Kid wouldn’t be caught dead in cargos, jeans or tracksuit pants so don’t even try!

Kids tell Butterfly Kid they hate them because they “are a boy dressed as a girl”. Butterfly Kid is challenged almost every day because of their decisions to not present like a “boy”. It scares the shit out of me, and breaks my heart.Kids tell Butterfly Kid they hate them because they “are a boy dressed as a girl”. Butterfly Kid is challenged almost every day because of their decisions to not present like a “boy”. It scares the shit out of me, and breaks my heart.

Butterfly Kid at their first school disco – self-dressed, of course

Two nights ago I went to a support group for parents of transgendered and gender diverse children. There were 14 of us from all areas of Sydney telling our stories. I cried when I told mine – not out of shame or guilt but from fear and worry for my child’s wellbeing.

This weekend Butterfly Kid, their dad (we are divorced) and I are seeing a counsellor at the Gender Centre. I’m scared for so many reasons that I just can’t go into today. However, writing has always made me brave so maybe tomorrow I will be able to share about my fears and anxieties for Butterfly Kid and what the future holds for them.

In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed the first part of my story. Of course, it’s also a version of Butterfly Kid’s story. Maybe it’s also a version of other parents’ and children’s stories. Maybe it’s even a version of your story.

Butterfly Kid and everyone who surrounds them are treading softly right now. We’re on our tip toes. It makes breathing a bit hard but our hearts are wide open. Maybe one day we will stop tip-toeing and instead make strong purposeful strides. Either way, I hope we have your love and support on our journey!

For more updates on my writing follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

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