The Mama Bear Story Project is a collection of portraits and autobiographical essays from members of Serendipitydodah for Moms – a private Facebook group for open minded Christian moms of LGBTQ kids.
Twelve and a half years ago, I became the mama of a sweet, happy, perfect-in-every-way baby with a head full of hair and bright blue eyes. If you know me in real life or through social media, you know Roxy as a smart, talented, bad ass who excels at everything she tries. Art, music, writing … there’s nothing this kid can’t do. Her greatest quality, though, is the confidence she’s always had to be her true self, regardless of what anybody else thinks.
Which is why sharing this is scarier for me than it is for her … ummm, actually, it’s “him” now.
Earlier this summer, Roxy told us she identifies as a boy and wants to be referred to as “him.” A few days later, he told us to start calling him Ray, a variation of his middle name (Rae.) Our family is a huge supporter of the LGBT society, so this change was met with a little bit of surprise, but not even a hint of negativity. Kai and Marley said “okay, cool” and kept right on playing. Henry and I hugged Ray and reassured him we would always love and support him no matter what, which he, in typical tween fashion, rolled his eyes at and said “I knowwwwww.”
Since that day, we’ve slipped up about a thousand times and used the wrong name or pronoun by accident. (Twelve year habits are hard to break!) But within the last few weeks, we’ve gotten so good at saying “he” and “Ray” that every time I post something about the kids, it feels so wrong to type the name Roxy.
So why didn’t I share this sooner?
Why have I been so scared to make it official?
Because while we will absolutely love our kids no matter who they love or how they identify, the rest of the world isn’t so kind to people who don’t fit into society’s narrow definition of “normal.” As parents, our top priority has always been to keep our kids safe. Sharing this change feels scary because the world can be a scary place for the LGBT community. I haven’t shed a single tear over Roxy becoming Ray, but I have cried myself to sleep at night worrying about how much more difficult his life will be now.
But I knew I wanted to say this out loud because not saying it out loud might look like I’m trying to hide something and nothing could be further from the truth. I wanted to say this out loud because I don’t want anyone to think we are ashamed or embarrassed by this because that simply isn’t the case.
For twelve years, I’ve talked about my amazing daughter Roxy and how incredibly proud I am of her. And now I’m here to tell you about my amazing son Ray and how incredibly proud I am of him. He’s a smart, talented, bad ass who excels at everything he tries. Art, music, writing … there’s nothing this kid can’t do. His greatest quality, though, is the confidence he’s always had to be his true self, regardless of what anybody else thinks.
And I couldn’t possibly love him more. ❤️
Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. Our official motto is “We Are Better Together” and our nickname is “Mama Bears” The group is set up so that only members can see who is in the group and what is posted there. It was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 2,000 members. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org