“Could the doctors have made a mistake? Could I have accidentally been born a girl? I should’ve been born a boy. Can that happen?”
Jo describes this pivotal moment as “terrifying.”
“‘I have to be honest. I can’t lie.’ That’s what went through my head,” she tells me.
Jo’s reply to her child’s pressing question was simple: “Yes, that can happen.”
Her emotions were not so simple.
“That was the hardest part, trying to be supportive to your child and act like it’s no big deal and inside you’re exploding,” she says.
There’s a lengthy pause and then Jo says: “I’m sorry. I’m trying not to cry just talking about it now.”
Reflecting on that crucial conversation with Sophie, Jo says she was both “terrified for my child” and “very sad.”
“Back then I knew nothing about having a transgender child.
“I didn’t know where I was going to go from here, what was going to happen, what sort of life my child would have.
“Also, the idea of losing my only daughter, as well, was quite sad. I really wanted a daughter and all of a sudden I was going to have two sons,” Jo explains.
— ‘Mum, could the doctor have made a mistake?’
I suppose I understand that it’s considered a sign of progress that we’ve moved from “My child is a freak; I’m kicking the kid out!” to “I’m grieving to learn that my child isn’t cisgender. Oh, woe, for my shattered expectations.” But I’m already pretty tired of the new narrative.