Here at Pride and Joy Foundation, we recently found an incredible trans poet in 11-year-old, Z.W.* from Colorado. We have published his poem here.
Since so many in our audience are parents of kids just like Z, we wanted to share some thoughts from his Mom.
I am the parent of an AFAB (assigned female at birth) wonderful human. Z’s Journey has also been my journey. He has tried on multiple names and is continuing to get to know who he is. In the beginning of our journey I felt lost and struggled daily, but now, two years in, I have realized that for me to join him in his being lost does not benefit either of us.
In the beginning, I thought I needed to understand everything that Z was going through. I wish someone had told me when we first started down this path that it is not my job to figure it out for him, just to love and support him while he figures it out for himself. It would have saved me many hours of emotionally draining sits, filled with gut-wrenching sobs, as I tried to sympathize with my child. When I stopped sympathizing, to start empathizing, I was able to share my strength, and support my child through this continuing process, instead of worrying about what might be. It changed our lives. After this fundamental shift in perspective, I could just hold him and be a pillar instead of crumpling when I saw his current pain. It also helped me to stop anticipating future pain, so that we could just live this amazing life that we have been given.
Z has a way with words that I have always recognized, but the night Z first read me this poem, I was absolutely flabbergasted! He has always been an amazing reader and can fulfill a teacher's writing assignment with little to no struggle at all, but this was different. He had taken his knowledge of words, and their power, to communicate his deepest feelings, so that he could express emotions and thoughts that even he struggles to understand. It was late at night, so I went to bed soon after. As I slept, I dreamt of how Z at 11 years old is going to change the world through his words. When I woke I shared the poem with my closest friend, and Z’s brother. Each time I would read it, I would feel deeper and deeper into what he needed from me. It always comes back to love and support, so I shared in my private parent group, and with a few more friends.
The next step was to figure out how to share his words with humans that could benefit from his gift. I messaged a friend who gave the idea of printing his own book through amazon, but that wasn’t quite what I thought he needed. Then, as if the universe had been sitting with me, waiting to know how to help, Elena, from Pride and Joy Foundation reached out! She was touched and asked if he would like to publish it here on their page! I am so grateful for the support and love that both he and I have received since sharing this personal insight to what it is like to be 11 years old and still figuring out this gender thing that has so much value is placed on by our society.
I am just another parent loving my kid while they try to figure it out. I am not alone and neither are you. Our kids are our world and we are here to foster the relationships that will allow them to love freely and be who they are!
Sincerely, Z’s Mom
Pride and Joy Foundation invites all parents and caregivers of LGBTQ+ youth to joining our Advocacy Support Group. You can find details of the next virtual meeting at www.PrideandJoyParents.com