“Mom, I need to tell you something”
Marian McCormick already knew what her son wanted to talk about. Marian had been anticipating and dreading the inevitability of the conversation ever since she realized what had been bothering him so much. Jordan was an energetic child with a cheery disposition. He was adventurous and would try many things other kids would not. The relationship between him and Marian was unbreakable. With his mother also being his best friend, it was no surprise when she noticed her son’s subtle changes.
Jordan had always been a bit different than other boys. While they played with their action figures and race cars, Jordan preferred his collection of stuffed animals and tea set. He had always had an overactive imagination, but when hosting his ‘tea parties’ he would sit and converse with his stuffies like a lady. Sometimes he would sneak into his mother’s room and take some of her dresses, shoes, and jewellery and play dress-up. Marian did not worry too much, but as Jordan got older, he continued to show interest in girl’s clothing and in activities that an average five-year-old would do. She had gone to a psychiatrist, but they had just told her it was a phase and that her son would soon grow out of it once he started school. It was not a phase though, nor did he grow out of it. Jordan had many female friends and only a few male ones, and this did not concern Marian for the most part, but when Jordan started coming home complaining about how the other boys in his class made fun of him for playing with the girls, she began to worry. She had told him perhaps maybe it was a good idea to start playing with the boys more and he agreed without complaint.
Marian had not heard much about the subject again until Jordan entered high school. Whether there were no problems, or he was just not telling her, she still was not sure, but she knew her baby was changing. His marks in school were still good and she heard nothing but praise from his teachers, but something about him was different. He was less open about his social life and would lock himself away in his room for hours. Marian knew that part of her son’s shift was something that every teenager went through, but there was something else. Jordan made it clear his room was strictly off limits, and she was no longer to buy clothes for him. There were also times where she would catch him staring at her, as if wanting to say something, but, after a few seconds, he would turn away.
It was when Jordan was in the middle of his second semester of grade nine when Marian heard part of a conversation between Jordan and his friend Alexi on the phone. She was going through the closet in the spare room when Jordan’s laugh caught her attention. Marian knew he would not appreciate her eavesdropping, but she could not help it. After a few minutes of school gossip, she realized they had switched their topic to boys. Marian paused what she was doing and listened intently as Jordan spilled his feelings for a boy named William. Her son was gay? She was not surprise; seeing as Jordan had always been feminine. Was that what Jordan wanted to tell her? She inwardly chuckled, not knowing why he was making such a big fuss. She had told him countless times he could come to her for anything, and he was also fully aware of his mother’s support of gays and lesbians. So then why was it so hard for him to come out to her? Marian got her answer when Jordan started grade ten.
She had been on one of her cleaning frenzies that day, tired of the accumulating layer of dust in the house, and, because Jordan allowed her in his room to clean it, she decided to do a quick vacuum and dusting. Opening the door, she was greeted by pale, blue and pink walls. They had worked together the summer before to redesign his room. During that time Marian did her best to show her son how much she supported him. Jordan still had not mentioned anything to her yet. She had to admit though; she loved the colours he had picked out. After vacuuming, she went over his dressers with a spray bottle of cleaning solution and a rag. Marian was about to wipe Jordan’s desk when she spotted the corner of a book poking out from under a pile of papers. She stared at it for a few moments, not wanting to be nosy, but curiosity soon got the better of her and she slid the book out. The title read “The Transgender Companion (Male to Female): The Complete Guide to Becoming the Woman You Want to Be”. Marian experienced a mix of emotions as she read the title over and over again. She had thought about the possibility of him being more than gay, but now that she knew, she did not know what to think. Had she played a part in his decision? Was it because she did so little to interfere with his childhood? Blinking, she felt a few tears run down her face. Odd, she did not remember when she had started crying. She quickly wiped them away and put the book back to how she had found it.
It would be hard, but Marian knew if this was what her son – no, daughter, wanted, then she would be there supporting her every step of the way. It was not her fault Jordan had grown up the way he did. She knew she had played a big part in it, but now that she looked back, the signs were always there. Some parents would say they were losing their child if this happened, but Marian knew Jordan was still the same person, and that she still loved him with all her heart. So, when Jordan said the words, “Mom, I’m... I’m transgender.” Marian smiled, and put her hand on his and squeezed tightly.
“I know,” she whispered gently.