The "T" Train --- Adam Transitions to the "real me"
Updated: Oct 26, 2018
Earlier this year, I had the bittersweet fortune to retrieve Adam's purple laptop --- a Christmas gift of mine from a few years ago.There was a Lady Gaga password to figure out. Once in, among the photos, I spotted an extraordinary Transition Journal, a series of pictures to show his transition to Adam. This here is one of those pictures. Online, he shared an old Rebecca picture alongside Adam, top off, arms strategically in place, a bold declaration in moving forward to himself.
Look at those social media hashtags!
#ftm (female to male)
I pay attention to those hashtags. They are pathways to my son's heart and true feelings.
Adam's transition from Rebecca is the heart of my, Soar, Adam, Soar story. I cover the transgender story in many chapters but especially in Chapter 6, The "T" Train", and Chapter 7, "The Boy in the Mirror. "T" is for testosterone, In that chapter, I chronicle Adam's 2015 intense journey with Centretown Community Health Centre on Cooper St. in Ottawa --- a social worker, Nichelle Bradley, Dr. Jennifer Douek, his pills and then injections, and the first hints that he wanted to have top surgery to remove those breasts that were the most visible reminder that he was not a boy yet. Actually, it's Adam telling his own story, in a series of Facebook posts that I quote, chronicling what for him seemed such an impatient, slow "T" train that, for Dad,at times felt like the TGV train rocketing across Europe.
February 2, 2015
Slowly starting to feel more comfortable and truly
happy for who I really am.
#transgender #feelingcomfortable #strong (Chapter 6)
The "Boy in the Mirror" chapter references a moment when he confides to his mom that he's frustrated not yet seeing himself. Who doesn't want that or expect to see themselves in the mirror? As parents, we wept hearing this from him. Trans kids don’t get to see themselves for the longest time. That’s all Adam wanted, to be himself,
"... I have been referring to my kid as
“she” or “her” for nineteen years. Now, it’s “he” and “him.” Suzanne
once acknowledged that I was doing well on getting these pronouns
right, but I make mistakes, noticeably more when I talk about Adam
to others than when I speak with him. Perhaps his death stare keeps
me on track! When I get a pronoun wrong with him, he makes quite
the face. He looks like I have stabbed him in the heart. I guess I have.
Pronouns matter. I start noticing my mistakes more and more. It feels
like I’m undertaking a conscious reprogramming, hard but worthwhile
work. I learn to appreciate what it means to Adam and to others in
transition..." (Chapter 7, Boy in the Mirror)
There's so much more that I want to say here about Adam's transgender story. It's in the book --- Senator Murray Sinclair's powerful reflection on a parent's fear for his two-spirit daughter in the wake of the horrific Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, other trans kids' unique stories or social media posts on the good, bad and ugly parts to their journey, the extraordinary grace of Adam being Adam at his Cafe Nature job at the Canadian Museum of Nature and in I-28 at The Ottawa Hospital for that cruel final weekend with its tender mercies.
I have met remarkable people in the trans community here -- Samantha, Janne, Kate, Little Alex and more. Tara Sypniewski sat one day on Adam`s memorial bench in St. Luke`s Park as we told stories to each other. Her story,in a Triple Echo blog, is beautiful.
Dominic Farrell was one of two exceptional editors that I worked with at Dundurn Press. He encouraged me to consider inserting an Author's Note at the beginning of the b