Dear Kellie-Jay @the posieparker @StandingforXX,
I am so relieved you are back safe in the UK with your family. It is disgraceful that you have been so recklessly maligned these past weeks. I know what you stand for. Let me tell you how I came to know you and how important your voice has been to me.
I first heard your voice on the trailer to the Detransition Diaries: Saving our Sisters. I loved your voice at first sound. You were calling out many of the words in our English language we need to name females: Woman, Mother, Mum, Daughter. I saw that you understood the danger of this ideology. I saw that you understood this threat many of us were now confronting within our families. That was why I sought you out.
Then you taught me an important lesson. There is no guilt by association. I live in America and there were associations I avoided. You set me straight. It was freeing and hopeful. It turns out I was really worn out by all the division. Now I am ready to meet anyone in any space where we can come together and solve important problems. I don’t agree with everything you do or say but that doesn’t matter because we agree on two things – protecting female only spaces and, most importantly, protecting children’s bodies.
Then you taught me another important lesson. For a time, I played your opening speech at the Let Women Speak event in Glasgow on a loop. My husband caught me playing it on my phone in the bathroom as I was getting ready for work. I have a good part of it memorized.
The reason you’re here is because in your own lives you cannot be heard. In your own lives you feel like you cannot speak. I talk to women all the time who feel that the State is gaslighting them, is forcing us into quiet. And we are not going to be quiet anymore. The watershed is finally here. From this moment on, we are not afraid, we will not be quiet, we will LET WOMEN SPEAK.
Several months earlier, I had visited an aunt who I treasure. The aunt who watched over me at the early death of my father, her brother. The aunt who, on important holidays, toiled in the kitchen year after year to keep the progeny of her mother connected. We were approaching the American holiday, Thanksgiving, and I wanted to give her a glimpse of what my family was going through since my daughter had declared a trans identity. I did not want an announcement at the holiday gathering. I wanted everyone in my extended family to address my daughter in whatever manner felt honest to them. My loving aunt gave me a warm cup of tea and a warm bowl of soup and told me I needed to accept my daughter as a trans man. My aunt knew of a relative of a friend who had never been happier. I sipped the warm soup she had prepared for me and I nodded.
The next time I didn’t nod. Your lovely voice gave me courage.
To start a little further back, when I learned my 18 year old daughter had started to medically transition, I reached out to my OB/GYN. I thought they could help me. I thought they would be just as concerned as I was about the health impact of these hormone treatments. This was the practice that had guided me through a surgery that could have impaired my fertility at the age of 24. This was the practice that had listened to the heartbeat of both of my children in utero through the nine months of their development. The doctors in this practice were the first to lay their hands on my two precious children. In an email exchange they told me they thought my daughter was in good hands with Planned Parenthood. They told me that parental support was one of the most important factors in determining a positive outcome for my trans child.
That brings us back to today. At my recent annual appointment, I saw the doctor face to face. It had been a difficult week with my daughter. Sometimes you believe you see a reason to hope and then that hope is quickly dashed. Just a simple question from the doctor of “how’s it going” released my emotions. I wasn’t able to hold back my tears and I tried to express my concerns. The doctor said I needed a support group. That it would help to talk to other parents who were further along in accepting their children. I was emotional, I was in a state of undress and a person of authority with my health in their hands was giving me instructions. Under any normal circumstances I would have nodded. But I didn’t. I am not saying it was eloquent or pretty or that I changed her mind but I didn’t nod. I spoke.
Thank you Kellie-Jay. This is my story. It is just one story but there must be countless other women who are speaking because of you.
And one last thing. I am so jealous of all the women that can wear their Adult Human Female shirts loud and proud. I can’t wait until my daughter comes back to me and we can both wear and bear witness to the truth.
A woman - adult human female