I was talking with a friend this week. He’s a trans dad and we discussed how that is different than any other father. I found it interesting that he doesn’t see many differences.
Sure, there’s the obvious: he didn’t actually father his son, because he’s trans. So like anyone who’s having fertility issues or for whatever reason doesn’t have a partner that can offer up those little swimmers, he and his wife used a donor.
They agreed his wife would carry the child, but that he would have a bigger say in who the donor would be. He’s half Japanese and wanted to find a donor that was too, so there was a greater likelihood that the baby would resemble him. But that’s something anyone who’s using fertility methods might take into consideration.
Are there issues? So far, no. Just some questions. My friend pointed out that there would come a time when he and his wife have to decide whether to tell their adorable son that his father is trans. There are definitely some decisions to make, but they’re not specifically related to my friends’ transition. Instead, they’re they same kinds of decisions any adoptive parent would have to make, or anyone else who came into parenthood in an alternative way: When and how to explain to a child how he or she came into being into its family.
I just found it really cool that … despite his transition … my friend sees himself as an ordinary dad with the same issues that any parent faces: keeping his child safe, raising a good kid, and being a role model for the next generation.
The more I learn about the transgender community, the more I learn they are so much more similar than many people think. They simply want to love and be loved, to accept and be accepted, and to live a good life. It seems the world at large still has a hard time seeing that, whether it’s due to a lack of understanding or choosing not to.
Are you a trans parent? Do you know one? I’d love to hear whether you’ve had a different experience than my friend. Perhaps by sharing it here, you’ll help someone else who’s facing a similar circumstance.
Happy Father’s Day to the trans dads out there. And to all the trans community, I will continue to learn – and do my best to educate others – about you.
With love and acceptance,