After I told an online trans support group that Mamas Wendy and Amy were the most influential women in my life right now, I thought that deserved some elaboration. So without ado, here are the top 10 at least.
Mama Wendy: Class and dignity abounds. I watch the way she carries herself, and her love got me to smile. She calls me her adopted, and I call her Mama Bear. We share a love of Simpatico coffee, and she was at my service of Renaming at Grace Episcopal. As I recover from foot surgery, she’s been encouraging me every step of the way.
Amy Bade, “Iron Mom:” I met her in 2017, and I was immediately impressed with the fact she’s done multiple Ironman triathlons. But she held my hand as I came out and started transition, and when I need advice on endurance running, I ask her first.
Rev. Jen Adams: Jen is the Rector at Grace Episcopal, where I attend. When I met Jen, she knew I had been burned badly by family and so-called Christians, but she listened to me in a way that no other clergy had listened to me before. She’s the one who ran my Service of Renaming, and when she’s available, we have coffee a lot.
Kelly and Christina: Two of my sisters. When I came out and started hormones, these two led me through the initial wilderness, protecting me, answering questions, and calling me a “baby trans.” Almost two years later, I am now standing alongside them and walking with them on this journey. Besides, Christina has loudly encouraged me to stand up to my dad, which I have. Somewhere, my big sister is proud of me.
Kate: My first sister. She knew. I asked her about hormones and what could I do on them. She too protected me in the initial stages of transition, and when my coworkers bullied me for what I was wearing, she consoled me and knew what to say. Kate’s at Rutgers now, but I look forward to her coming home and telling us stories.
Giedre Sundquist/Sarah Ritchie: Photographer and makeup artist for my photo shoots, these two women saw the beauty in me when I didn’t see it in myself. March marks my second year on hormones, and with these two, I know I’ll look beautiful.
Theresa: My endurance big sister and reality check. She’s always wanted what’s best for me, and she’s been with me every step of the way on recovery. As I return to running, she’ll be there.
My Skirt Sisters and Skirt Mamas: I have a lot of Skirt Mamas who love and care about me. Noelle and Nicole have been fantastic. I love Samantha.
Donna Messina: We started out in endurance, now she’s just Mama. She’s helping me get ready for a job in the field and helping me design my outfits.
Alicia Rodriguez/Donna Cano: The Wonder Twins at Tyson. These two have supported me ever since I came out, telling me I can come to them with whatever I needed. Alicia laughed when I told her the side effects of hormones; Donna can calm me down with one look.
There are more women to be sure, but there’s a good place to start.