March 5, 2023

My Son Frankie

by Rhonda J. Bays (author's profile)



This blog is about my son Frankie. Or more so being the mother of a transman and the dynamics of it all.

Several years ago, Frankie discussed with me his being trans. The first discussion I remember was about pronouns and such. That was hard for me to grasp, being his mom and all. I ACCEPTED it fully. I accept everything about Frankie, no matter what is is. Him being trans was just a new concept for me and I had to work with it.

I began to subscribe to transgender publications to learn more. At one point, I had subscribed to about a dozen. That did however make me look suspect to my friends and others picking up their mail. I also receive an injection called Skyrizi, which is for my skin and arthritis issues. I have to go to medical once every three months and get in the injection line to receive it.

For a while I believe I was the only one in the line who was not receiving hormone therapy. So the magazines, then being in the line. LOL! (I will go ahead and put all those rumors to rest. The mustache I try not to have comes naturally.) I will say though that the publications were very helpful. I recommend to any parent with the same situation to educate yourself. I'm sure you won't have to subscribe to magazines as Google alone should keep you well occupied.

Being his mother, when he first told me I looked back and wondered if it was always like that or did he change as he grew up. What was the deciding factor? I remember him and his little Molly doll (Molly referring to the Big Comfy Couch show on PBS, not crystal meth) and how he used to play with her all the time. Also little colorful ponies, flying fairies, things like that.

But he also enjoyed catching bugs just as much. And killing them. My dad had this electric fly swatter that was the cause of much peril to anything living within Frankie's reach. But that's a different story for a different day.

Anyway, I could not put my finger on it. Then I thought about it for a while, and I realized something. I was looking at this from the wrong perspective. I was searching for what HAPPENED to make transgender. Like it was PTSD or some sort of defect. Boy, did I feel crunchy. Why in the hell was I doing that? There is nothing AT ALL wrong with my child—other than he was not fully in his correct gender yet. Once I was able to see that I was looking at this all wrong, everything for me fell into place.

I talk to my friends and am very open about my family. (Not details that could lead to identity theft or some other felonious activity. Just my thoughts and feelings.) I am proud of my son, as I am both of my children. He has come a long way and has had many hardships he would not have had to endure had I not abandoned him coming to prison.

I tell my friends these things in the hopes that if they have anyone trans in their lives that they too will be willing to listen, understand, and accept. I remember one day I was trying to tell them about Frankie as a child. Now, keep in mind, not everyone knows that he is trans. Just the folks that I have known a long time. Anyway, when I got to the point that I was describing the situation, I ALMOST said, "When he was a little girl."

Of course, that would be wrong, but then I quickly thought he was not a little boy (at least in my memory) either. So I wound up saying "little person."

It has been a while, and I am not sure of the EXACTS of the story. But what I do remember is there are people who now think, because of my wording, that Frankie is a midget. Or, correction, WAS a midget. Luckily for him, he overcame that. Oy vey!

Suffice it to say I am not the most eloquent when I am trying to phrase things in my mind to say. But ya know what? That's okay. Frankie has been so patient with me. When I make mistakes he just corrects me. Sometimes with an explanation. (I can be a little slow on the uptake.) Sometimes a sigh.

There was one time we were talking about a good friend of his. In what I was saying, I was trying to ask if his friend was androgynous. I could only think of the word ambidextrous, but I knew that wasn't it. Disclaimer: said friend MAY indeed by ambidextrous. I did not ask because I was on another line of thought. I may ask for in the future. So me, being the epitope of one with an expanded vocabulary, called him "multi-purpose."

Yeah. I am still trying to live that one down.

I could have so much more to say on this subject, but I believe I will end it here. The bottom line is that when we love our children, it needs to be unconditionally. If one does not, I challenge their said love in the first place. Sometimes things don't turn out the way we plan. Life throws us curve balls. All of us. When things are different than we expected, and it is with the ones we love, being their support is paramount to their future.

I hate to think what trans people whom their families have rejected go through. The statistics show that the suicide rate increases exponentially for anyone who identities as LGBTQI+. I am glad Frankie will not experience that. Even my DAD is perfectly accepting of my son. And if you have ever even met my father, you probably just reread that line like three times. It goes back to love.

In conclusion, I just want to say I love my kid. He is AMAZING. I couldn't be prouder. We should all have children as wonderful as him—the world would certainly be a better place.



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