“I was not ladylike, nor was I manly. I was something else altogether. There were so many different ways to be beautiful.” Michael Cunningham
OK, friends, gather ‘round, and I will tell you the story of a brave warrior. This is our son, Aden. Except, for 18 years, we thought he was our daughter. And friends have asked, “did you know?” and “did you suspect?” And I want to say yes. YES, OF COURSE I KNEW. THIS IS MY CHILD, AND I KNOW HIM TO THE CORE. But I didn’t. I didn’t know, nor did I suspect. And even though we’ve tried to be Very, Very Open and Very, Very Accepting, Aden was afraid. He was afraid that the messages he’d heard from church (UGH) and society were more true than our love of him. So he waited. And he hurt. And then, at the tail end of Halloween night, he told us. As everyone’s costumes came off, he took off the one he’d worn for 18 years. He held out a piece of his heart to us—a piece of his soul—and said, “is it true? Do you really love ME? Or just your idea of me?”
“We love YOU,” we said. “We love ALL OF YOU. And we’re so glad to know this. Also, CONGRATULATIONS. And let’s get sushi to celebrate.” Because everyone knows sushi is celebration food. And the last year has been one of joy and learning and lancing the pain and really listening and updating medical and getting a good, supportive counselor on board for the Feelings. It’s been a journey. A wild and wonderful journey. And I’m SO GRATEFUL to this boy for inviting us.
Real talk here, though, friends. In the moment Aden told us his News, I wanted to make it About Me. About my sadness that he didn’t know he could tell us. About my grief that we weren’t as explicit as I thought we were that ANY and ALL of the letters— L or G or B or T or Q or I or A or P or MORE—are welcome here. In our home. In our hearts. In our family. But—and here’s a free tip for other parents out there with trans kids—I shut that shit straight down. I took the self-flagellation off the table. BECAUSE THIS WAS NOT ABOUT ME. And I should spend ZERO minutes berating myself and ALL the minutes supporting my son. The end. The end.
This is my boy with Sweet Miss Mary. One in a PROUD 365 shirt. One in a rainbow ribbon. Both darling. Both precious. Both warriors. Both perfect exactly as they already are.
Story shared with Aden’s permission.
Turns out trying to get a group shot of 12 kittens is…well…like herding cats. 😂 These are my best attempts using a basket and then my boys. NOPE. NOT A SINGLE USABLE SHOT. Sharing anyway because taking these was HILARIOUS. More #PrideMonth #KittenPride pics to come. INDIVIDUAL PORTRAITS, tho. 🌈🐾
“So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” Tim Cook
Quark is Very Proud of his Pride Ribbon, and he tried to stay awake to show you. 🙂😐😵💫😴Sweet baby tried very hard. 🌈🐾
“Baby, I was born this way.” Lady Gaga
Helen Qubit Quinn wishes you a happy, happy #PrideMonth! And there will be more #KittenPride pics tomorrow because we don’t need a timeline to be #proud of who we are. 🌈🐾 Stay tuned. Some of my favorite portraits to come. 😘
One response to “Kitten Watch Update: June 30, cont.”
Thank you for sharing this with us, Aden and Beth. I could totally see myself making it all about me instead of focusing on my child. I appreciate the advice! Also, the kittens look so sweet in their Pride ribbons 🙂