Earlier this week, I ran into an acquaintance from PTA. We aren't really friends; we see each other about once a month at meetings. Well, last month, I apparently shared a little bit about my experiences with parenting a transgender child and going through LAUSD. As I am fairly open about our journey, I honestly don't remember what I said or what the context of the conversation was about. As you all may know already, I am not shy about stating that I'm a parent of a transgender child - I am open and honest and proud of our family.
Well, earlier this week, at another PTA meeting, this acquaintance came up to me and said she needed to tell me something. She grabbed my hands, which wasn't something I was expecting. Nor were the tears that started to well up in her eyes. I had no idea what she was going to say! She said that she had to thank me for being open and sharing about Damian. She said she could tell that I was proud of him and that I had nothing but love and support and acceptance for him. Then she told me - her daughter is part of the LGBTQ community and until hearing me talk about my son, she had not shared that information with others within the PTA Board except for just a couple of people. But after hearing me speak, she started to share this information with more people in her life! I was so thrilled to hear this - I congratulated her on living authentically. Her daughter is out and has been for a while, but she never shared this personal information about her daughter with her friends, some of who have known her and her daughter for many many years (her daughter is in her late 20s now I believe).
It's not easy being true to yourself in this world of keeping up with the Kardashians. But I could tell that a weight was lifted off this person after she had shared about her daughter. After a while of consciously keeping a secret, the emotional baggage will start to weigh you down. I'm hopeful that one day there will be no reason to fear talking about who we love or who we truly are - a world where everyone can live out loud and we can live and let live.