What the Fox Said

Reflections on a life in transition

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The Bitter Sweetness of Motherhood

Mother’s day is an emotional time for many women and I am no exception.  I’m a mother of four children whose ages range from nineteen to three.  But while these children are genetically mine and I helped bring each of them into this world, I did not give birth to them.  You see, before my youngest ever called me Mommy, I was Daddy.  Just over a year ago I announced to my children that, while I would always be their father, I would forever more be their mother as well.  Since they all had a “Mother” we decided they would call me Ama.  My youngest children, the ones that most easily accepted this transition, now call me either Mommy or Ama.  My oldest daughter, soon to be 20 and already a grown woman, refuses to use any honorifics or titles.  To her I’m only Sage or “Parent.”

But changing genders is not simply a social transition.  There are physical, hormonal, mental, and emotional changes that modify our sense of self and our place in this world.  A few months ago I was visiting with my own mother and my little boys were playing in another room.  I heard a loud cry and ran into the room to find my five year old crying loudly – smacked in the head by a car wielded by his three year old brother, a sweet but brutish child that hadn’t yet learned to negotiate or communicate effectively.  As I grabbed my boy and felt him sobbing in my arms my own tears welled forth and I felt something I had never experienced before:  Motherhood.  I had always loved my children and was a kind and caring father with close bonds to all of them.  But a female brain and a body producing male hormones created a disconnect in me and I sometimes had trouble managing my emotions or feeling or reacting to all but the strongest of emotional stimuli.  A daily dose of the right hormones has changed that and changed me.  When it comes to my children, my empathy has been cranked to eleven and I wonder how I ever thought I knew what parenting was before this.  I am truly their mother in every way that matters now.

Yet I’m denied the right to celebrate Mother’s day by angry birth mothers that reject my claim to the holiday. But as I’m no longer their father, I’m also denied the right to celebrate Father’s day. Attempts on my part to share in this recognition of motherhood have resulted in rejection, derision, and scorn from my children’s bio-mothers and from my older children as well.

The only reasonable solution I’ve come up with to resolve this dispute is to have my own celebration with my children.  Every day that I have with them is, for me, a celebration of my motherhood.  Others can take a day to recognize or be recognized as a mother, but I choose to embrace my children with my words, my deeds, and my love.  Every moment with them reminds me how blessed I am to be their mother - 365 days a year.

Filed under motherhood trans transgender fatherhood mothers day parenting

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New Trans* in the Military Study Announced

New Trans* Military Commission

The Palm Center has announced the commissioning of a new study today “to analyze best practices and address how regulations will need to be adjusted to allow for open transgender service without disrupting military readiness. “

This study will be co-chaired by former Army Surgeon General and former Commander of the US Army Medical Command Retired Major General Gale S. Pollock.


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As most of you who follow me know, last month the Elder’s Report on transgender military service was released. This week, there was a briefing that was held primarily to review the report. Luck pulled through for me, and I managed to be a part of the small audience in attendance.

I found myself…

Progress!  Another great post by a wonderful young man I’m proud to know.