My dear children whom I love more than anything,
In December I asked you to come up with something else to call me besides “Daddio,” and to start using female pronouns when talking to me and about me. Then I pushed you, hard. I did it because each year before Christmas for many years I have grieved all over again for my mother’s death and yearned desperately for the acceptance I will never get from her. I was feeling extremely needy, and in my need I turned to you. That was a parenting fail. It is not your job, at this stage in your lives, to parent me, nor, for that matter, to play any role for anyone, no matter how much you love them. It is your job to continue to work on figuring out who you are going to be in the world and to move toward your versions of adulthood, and it is my job to support you in your growing up. I’m back to doing that, and I’m sorry I faltered.
I withdraw my request that you stop calling me “Daddio.” That word is full of love and the history of who we have been together all through your childhood, and I don’t want to lose it or what it represents. So, I welcome “Daddio” as long as you want to keep using it...for the rest of our lives, if you want.
I do still hope that in your own time, when you feel ready, you could start using female pronouns for me, and that you will stay open to the idea of finding other new things to call me which include recognition of who I am now. I say this because while I *am* still the same dad you have always known, I am also in a real way a woman you’ve only just met. It’s like, “Um...hi. My name’s Lisa, and I’ve been lurking inside your dad all these years...actually, I *was* him, but in disguise. Now I’m standing here right in front of you as my actual self. So, anyway, um...nice to finally meet you...and, uh, I feel like baking...what kind of cookies do you want?"
Trans *is* weird, but it's a thing that can be gotten used to, and we are all such smart people and have so much love between us, I’m sure that over time we can find creative positive ways to incorporate my true gender into our family dynamic. And regardless of what you call me or what pronouns you use, I’m here for you, and I always will be. No doubt I will falter again from time to time...I’m only human...but I’m here.
Now, go finish your homework.