Claire and her son Cas appeared on Divine Magazine earlier in the year in a poignant story of coming out as a young trans teen that touched a lot of people’s hearts
You can see the full interview here http://divinemagazine.net/lifestyle/lgbt-youth/interview-with-claire-and-cas-potterton
Now Claire has written a follow up for us a month later and given us some of the feedback on this event and some insights into what it’s been like for both Cas and his family in the wake of his declaration that he wants to grow up as a man, not a woman. Cas is only fourteen.
Once again Claire speaks from the heart and give us a wonderful glimpse into what this has meant for all of the people in her life.
Let It Go!
Let it go, let it go….we love the movie, and regularly make happy fools of ourselves singing at the top of our voices and dancing round the kitchen. Very recently the sentiment in those three words has become far more important to me.
A couple of months ago, my teenaged son had a very public coming out as a trans guy. The public nature of it was intentional, (more public than we had ever imagined possible thanks to Divine Magazine and Susan Mac Nicol). It was a small attempt to inject a little positivity into a subject which currently seems to be predominantly negative, plagued with so many teen suicides, assaults, killings and such awful cases of bullying. It was a choice that was made in the hope of showing that making the decision to be true to yourself and taking control of your life can be a hugely positive experience, and that the love and support out there can be greater than you ever expected.
The response to my gorgeous boy’s transition has been phenomenal. The support from all generations, all walks of life has been overwhelming at times. We have had questions, we have had a real lack of understanding, but even from those people, the acceptance and support has been there too regardless.
There has only been one spoke in our wheel of happiness, a spoke that has caused sleepless nights, bouts of real fury, crying jags and finally a resigned acceptance from me.
I knew going into this that there would be those for whom this would be very difficult to come to terms with. I knew there would be those who would struggle to get their heads around what my son’s choices meant; particularly some of the older people in our life. I have had the Lord tossed at me….’Are you saying that God made a mistake?’, I’ve had the morality of changing your gender to suit your own whim thrown at me, and I have done my best, successfully or otherwise, to answer those issues that people have. Underneath those things I have heard the unspoken ‘I can’t deal with this.’ I have heard the fear of the unknown, the fear of something they cannot begin to comprehend, and fear is a great tool for creating anger and unpleasantness in us as human beings. Fear is a great motivator for pushing away the thing that unsettles you. Sadly, if you push hard enough and often enough, eventually it stays away.
Acceptance is very necessary, particularly, for me, in all issues involving LGBT young people, but acceptance because its happened and there is nothing you can do about it, is kinda crappy! It’s like accepting that the Conservatives got in at the last general election….you don’t like it, you can’t support it and you will never like it, but it’s happened and you have no choice but to go with it. There won’t be another election in my son’s life a few years down the line, now is the time to make your support known. Acceptance of who he is, support for his choices, because you love him for who he is and for the incredible adult we know he is going to become, that is what is essential.
I am a very easy going, laid back person, too easy going sometimes or so I have been told, but first and foremost I am a mum. My childrens well being and happiness takes precedence over everyone and everything. I am here to protect them and support them in whatever life may send their way, and in whatever decisions and choices they may make. It’s in the job description and if I am put in the position of having to make a choice, my kids will always come first.
I have had to accept that there are some people for whom acceptance of this is just not going to be possible. My child’s decision to live the life he was meant to lead goes against their personal moral standards or their religious beliefs, and no amount of discussion, argument or education is going to change that. What I can’t accept is having people in our lives whose acceptance of my son is ‘political party’ deep. As sad, frustrating and heartbreaking as it has been, eventually I have had to say enough is enough, and say – Just Let It Go .