Family means different things to different people. Some people are tight with their blood or marriage family. Me? I’m the Rainbow/Trans Sheep of my family, and I don’t know how my blood family responds to me… so I go with the Chosen Family.
At work, it’s Jael and Rosy offering tight hugs and prayers with me daily. Jael took an interest in me several months ago, and we started hugging multiple times a day. Rosy was my first friend at Tyson, and lately, we’ve started holding each other and praying with each other recently. For a job that’s not all wonderful, these two make it worthwhile to show up each day.
It’s Shelby with hugs, hand holding, and 3.5 hour conversations at Denny’s. Shelby entered my life in November 2018, and I knew I had to have her in my life from the moment I met her. We talk, we snuggle… one time, I fell asleep on her boob. We took that as a sign I trust her. She was my caretaker immediately after surgery, and later today, she’s picking me up for laser hair removal. Time with her is NEVER wasted.
It’s Kate, Kelly, and Christina, the “3 Sisters.” When I started transition with hormones, those three basically said “come with us if you want to live.” They’ve held me tight, told me what to expect on hormones, and have had the answers when the question was “do what now?” If Shelby is the Maid of Honor at my wedding, these three will be my bridesmaids.
It’s Jen (Rector at Grace Episcopal). She listened to me and blew the door open for me to come back to church and eventually faith. When I took Communion in September, I was petrified that I’d be struck dead at the altar. Instead, she smiled at me, and told me later she wanted to hug me. She also gives me nudges with her elbow during the procession to the altar and head boops during communion.
It’s Beth, pastor at Hope Church. She was involved during Gender SAFE’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, and I met her, and told her I wanted her in my life. She’s been an excellent mentor, supporter, and prayer partner. It really helps that she has MARVELOUS hair like me.
It’s Elizabeth, Krista, Bob, Dennis, Connie, Barb, Janet, Steph, Brent, Renee, Holly, etc… my Grace Episcopal family. They welcomed me to the church, have offered rides when needed, showed up at my renaming service, they help me when I do Coffee Hour, etc. It really helps that Grace’s attitude toward me is “we love our girl and we want the best for her.”
There’s more, and I will talk about them later…