“I was getting ready to go on a date, she sat on my bedroom floor while I did my hair and makeup. She said, ‘I’m different’ and I said, ‘F–k yeah ya are.’
She said, ‘I hate myself.’ I stopped getting ready.
I said, ‘You hate yourself or you hate your body?’
She said, ‘I hate my body.’
I said, ‘You hate your body or you hate your penis?’
She said, ‘I hate my penis.’
I said, ‘You hate your penis because puberty is uncomfortable/cosmetic discomfort, or because it feels like you shouldn’t have one?’
She said, ‘I shouldn’t have a penis.’ I cancelled my Uber and sat down with her.
‘What does it feel like to be a woman? How do you know it feels different than being a man? How can I support you? Tell me everything. I am listening.’
These conversations didn’t happen once. They happened everyday for years. Bretta had the patience of Job with all of us. She answered all of our questions.
Well, mostly MY questions. Elliot was like, ‘Oh yeah, being a girl trapped in a boy’s body makes sense.’ Her brain wrapped around it immediately. Brooklyn had more questions, but they came concomitantly with pure acceptance.
For me, it was sometimes the same question a dozen times. Thousands of questions. I directed them to Bretta first. Not the internet. Not Ted Talks. And certainly not to cisgender people who can’t know what it’s like.
Then, I went to ‘expert’ resources and doctors as well. And I still am. Though she’s the best expert at what it’s like to be her and science is resounding what’s already evident.
As we moved into her transition, we didn’t cry, we wept. We didn’t forget, we grieved. And for all that is holy in this world, we did not reject her OR her choices.
Instead, we renounced the thoughts, stories, and illusions that could have come between us. We wrapped ourselves in rainbows and celebrated not just one day, but all the days we have the honor of living together.
If I rejected Bretta’s choices, I would have to reject myself. For it was within my own body, my own home, and from my own teachings she formed herself in this world.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters Caralee of Salt Lake, UT. You can follow her journey on Instagram. You can donate to Henrietta’s GoFundMe here. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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