I was raised in a very traditional Christian family. I grew up going to church every Sunday and was taught that a man marries a woman and they have lots of kids. The woman should get an education, but stay at home if she can and that he takes care of his family.
In the back of my mind, that didn’t sit right with me. I wanted to do things my way, not be told how to live my life. I started to ask questions at church and of course this automatically put a big red arrow above my head and my “friends” weren’t really there for me anymore. So when I was of age, I left home and set out on my own. No more church for me. I drank, got tattoos, and hung out with people from all walks of life. My parents hated it.
Fast forward from 2005 to now. My parents are wonderful people who accept me and love me unconditionally. I have a wonderful husband, two step-kids, and two kids of my own. One of my husband’s kids is a girl. When we first met when she was about three (she’s 14 now) I would dress her up in the expensive girl clothes and spoil her to death. She was adorable! Over the last two years, she has decided to become trans and now goes by Michael. At first I was crushed/confused at what to do and how to accept it. She doesn’t live with us, so we just didn’t talk about it. We still referred to her as her birth name. But over the last few months, I decided that there is no reason to distance myself because she/he is still the same loving person! So, I’ve made a conscious effort to support Pride Month and my husband saw how it made my relationship with “Michael” stronger and now he has followed In my footsteps. We have bought merchandise, posted on social media, and ever since I started working at A&F, I’ve always rounded up my change for The Trevor Project. I bought “Michael” his first chest binder and it made him so happy. I was very leery at first because of medical reasons, but at 14 years old, he had done all of his research and measured correctly so I was very proud of him. Now we talk daily via social media and I tag him on anything Pride that I see. I want to raise more awareness that just because you aren’t in a traditional man & woman relationship, doesn’t mean you are less of a person AT ALL. HUMANS deserve to ALL be treated EQUALLY!