My name is Megan and my husband, Kelly and I have two beautiful girls. Hayden is 9-years-old and Harper is 5. We are a pretty normal and typical family (whatever that means). Hayden our 3rd grader plays softball and dances competitively. Harper, who is in kindergarten, performs in musical theatre and enjoys a weekly gymnastics class. Kelly is a General Contractor and I work for the Conejo Valley School District as a Computer Teacher plus yard supervision. So, what makes our family of four different than other families? Harper was born biologically male. She is transgender.
Big sister Hayden’s closet was the place Harper went into to take her dress-up clothes, headbands, purses, and shoes that made noise when she walked. On Sunday nights we would paint the girl’s nails - blue for Hayden, purple for Harper. Frozen is Harper’s favorite movie and she loves to sing and dance. We always knew Harper was on a different “path.” But, we weren’t totally sure for quite some time exactly what that path was since she couldn’t verbalize the “what”.
However, we found that her mannerisms weren’t only sass and sparkle – they were the building blocks of who she truly is. Around the age of 3 when we asked Harper hypothetically what she wanted to be when she grew up she said, “I want to be a girl!” As non-prejudice as we are, we were also extremely uneducated about the diversities within the LGBTQ community. Transgender. I had absolutely no idea what that meant. At that time in our lives, I only heard of transgender celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner and Chaz Bono. Yet, I honestly had no idea that at only 3-years-old a child could be transitioning.
Learning about Harper’s path was imperative. Turning to the internet for articles, books, social media for stories to connect was a must. I needed to know that we weren’t alone. And as uncommon as it might be for children at that age to socially transition, it happens. It’s possible. It took place in our own home. By the time Harper turned four she told us that she IS a girl. During one afternoon in particular, I heard three vital facts about transitioning from a podcast and it was that day everything clicked! My child was consistent, insistent and persistent that she is a girl. This wasn’t only who she wanted to be – this is who she is.
We transitioned in May 2019.
I say “we” because all of us had to make that transition together. Since then, things have been for the most part, awesome. We have had our struggles and the negative comments and feedback from our local community didn’t make it any easier. We’ve experienced good humans as well. We have been very transparent with everyone around us. We feel we have provided people a safe place to ask questions, to feel their feelings - because we were once in their shoes. Every question that they’re thinking, asking, not asking – we’ve already asked ourselves a million times.
Recently we launched our website, Navigating Gray where we aim to continually bring awareness to the cisnormative world about the transgender community. Overall, no matter what, we love our girls. We support our girls and we wouldn’t want to live this authentic, human experience any other way.
♥️ Megan + the Goebel family, @navigating_gray