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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bathrooms




I didn't realize until a couple years ago, how much of a big deal bathrooms were for Anneke. Since s/he cut her hair short, and was old enough not to be accompanied all the time, s/he had negative experiences going into the women's washroom. Her coping strategy was to ask her little sister M. to come with her, as her entry pass into the washroom. Instintively M. seemed to understand and always come along. She still will when asked

We gravitate towards restaurants, swimming pools, and venues that have universal changerooms and family bathrooms. Most families don't worry about such things.
In most places now A. goes into the men's washroom. I am occasionally worried about this. S/he and I went to a Cannucks game recently, and s/he left to go to the bathroom. Hockey crowds, men and lots of beer, does not make a mom warm and fuzzy about sending thier kid alone into the washroom. It was fine, but it reminded me of safety issues and the need for more family friendly washrooms.

At school A. confesses that s/he only uses that bathroom when parents aren't around to comment, and s/he makes sure the kids there all know her. If s/he can s/he holds it until s/he gets home. I was relieved to learn that familes of other gender non-conforming kids face this issue all the time as well. It makes you wonder why we separate the bathrooms anyway, and who are these women policing the washroom making kids feel bad for chosing a bathroom they feel comfortable in. My "mama bear" instincts just want to slap them. When I've said that to A., s/he is the voice of restraint. "They don't know mom, just be nice," s/he'd say.
M. her little sister (pictured above with A.) sees it the clearest. "That's just stupid" she states when we explain why some people comment on A. using the women's bathroom. "Who cares?" she says. Who cares indeed.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hockey hero


For those who don't already know, hockey is A's passion. This year s/he has been a goalie, instead of defense. S/he has played since s/he was 4 years old. S/he is currently in a 'girls' league and loves it. The past 2 years s/he has also played in a North Vancouver c0-ed league in the spring. Since s/he has asked us not to correct or declare her gender to anyone, most of last spring passed by without anyone realizing s/he was natally female. The rest of the team were boys. Other mom's made of point of telling me how polite my son was, and how helpful he was to his team-mates. I'd say 'thank you' knowing what a great kid I have.
Needless to say, there were some shocked little boys and parents when they realized this amazing player was, in fact, female.
The past two weekends have been spend at two separate hockey tournaments. The pictures here are from one with her Pee Wee Team - the Vancouver Angels and the Richmond tournament. S/he won Most Valuable Player at the final game of the tournament. S/he is such an amazing goalie, s/he was asked to play goalie for the Vancouver Angels Midget team with girls aged 15-19. They adore her, and she loves doing it.
One of A's biggest worries about considering transitioning one day to male is that she might no longer be allowed to play hockey with the Angels. I have told her not to worry. The team would never let her go. On the brighter side, for A, she reminded me that if s/he were male, s/he could play in the NHL. Watch out Cannucks - here comes my kid!