I’ve had to make a major blogging decision recently, which is not something I ever expected to do.
Up until now, I sporadically shared photos of my kids’ faces on my blog, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. I was an open book – using their names, talking about their accomplishments, sharing my joys and my love with all of you. Although it wasn’t the main focus of my blog, my children are the main focus of my life and I’m so very proud to share them with the world.
Unfortunately, as the name suggests, we live in a small town. My kids catch the bus in another small town. They go to school in yet another. My whole area is comprised of small communities where everyone knows everyone and news travels fast. Where neighbours stop you on the street to ask who built your house or knock on your door to ask if they can have the shelf that’s been sitting on your porch for 3 weeks (don’t judge me internet).
If this was just a “mommy blog” I wouldn’t hesitate. I don’t mind, exactly, having my children’s pictures online. My issue and fear is bullying. It’s true, pictures or not, anyone who knows me and this blog will know my children. As I gain popularity it will open us up to even more exposure. As of right now, if you recognize me, and see me with my kids, you’ll be able to put it together. If my kids are posted online, the kids who spend a lot more time out of the house than me, and someone recognizes them, that’s a lot more dangerous. Especially if I’m not there.
When I go to my kids’ school, I see the other kids. I rarely take note of the parents, and definitely don’t talk to them. I get a quick “here’s my number” when they drop them off at my daughter’s birthday party. I can’t remember your name, but I certainly know your kid’s. I think it’s fair to assume this happens a lot. My fear is if someone sees a picture of my older kids associated with one of my transgender posts or my blog in general they might be more likely to recognize them than me.
Now, should I care about being out? Not really. I recently had a conversation with someone online though. She said “I support transgender people but I don’t want them around my family.” This hit me so hard. No, I don’t think my kids would be outright bullied for having a trans dad or two dads or whatever we end up getting known as. I think my kids will be excluded by the “good catholic” families who don’t want anything to do with us. I think my kids will be left out of birthday parties, have play dates requests ignored, or worse, be told that “my mom says I can’t be friends with you because of your family.”
I’m embarrassed to say my oldest daughter doesn’t really support me. She is the sweetest thing, and she loves me to bits, but she has some emotional issues that make change very difficult for her. If she is bullied she will absolutely blame me for it. Now, I am willing to shoulder the hurt for her, I accept that fully, but I don’t want our relationship damaged because of something she doesn’t want me to do. She cried when I told her my voice may change and we haven’t even discussed the top surgery. She eventually gets over stuff, but even so, I want to protect her from everything that I can.
I don’t want my transness to be their legacy. I don’t want my activism to make them a political statement. I don’t want this to follow us for our whole lives. Outside the internet, while I do love educating people, I just want normal.
So, what I’ve done is removed the past posts that had pictures of their (recent) faces. I’m leaving the baby pictures, my 3 year old (for now), and anything ambiguous. I still want to share my family with all of you – they’re my whole world. I also removed a couple posts, in case you notice anything missing.