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Letter from Rachel's Father


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Spring 2000

To Whom It May Concern:
What can I say to other parents learning that a son is really a daughter, or a daughter really a son? First, that this is not about your life; it is not about your hopes and fears, your successes or failures as a parent, your own sense of yourself as a man or a woman. Hard as it is not to personalize and internalize, this is not about you. Once you recognize this, it will become easier to accept what at first may seem too enormous to swallow.

This certainly is about pain. But whatever pain you may feel now, your child has already felt a hundred-fold before concluding he or she was trapped in the wrong body. Remember your own youth and confusion? Imagine going through this as well. To come out of such a hell, as our children have done, still believing in life, still staking a chance on happiness, albeit now as the opposite sex, takes enormous courage. Every transgendered person who has not committed suicide is a hero. We can be proud of our sons and daughters, and what's more, we're lucky to still have them.

Of course, this is not what we planned. But how much ever is? This is not something under our control. What is under our control is what we do now:

Do we love and cherish these children who turned out not to be what they seemed, or do we succumb to our fears and reject them? There is much we can learn from these heroes of ours. And they have trusted us with the ultimate truth about themselves. Walking with them on their difficult pathoffers us nothing less than a chance to live our lives more fully.


Sincerely,

Charlie





 
 
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