Now that the ts are crossed and the is dotted I finally feel comfortable talking about it… My family is getting featured in the January edition of Today’s Parent Magazine! This is exciting news because it’s not only the top Canadian parenting magazine but also one I’ve been reading since my oldest was born 9 years ago. Kind of a big deal.

How did this happen?

Their website featured a few articles on transgender kids but I couldn’t find a single one about parents. Even the ones about kids were lacking. So, in a moment of brashness, I found their contact email and sent one off.

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I was shocked to get a reply only 3 days later.

At first they offered for me to send a sample article that they may publish online. Then they wanted a more in-depth article that they original offered for me to write. Finally they insisted one of their writers complete the story and it would be published in the magazine and promoted like their other features. It really was that simple.

On not writing it

I’m going to try and keep this brief but I try to be honest on this blog. I was really, really disappointing in not being able to write the story. So upset that I even considered pulling out of it entirely. It hurt a lot, especially because what they sent back is nothing like how I would have written this sort of feature. My friends and family, who are typically honest and critical when necessary of my work, said they genuinely preferred my writing of this one.

I ended up agreeing despite the ego stab because it’s so important for me to raise awareness for this and help other parents like me, or kids who will grow up to be like me. I also convinced them to link to my website in the online version so that’s a happy perk. Maybe one day they’ll let me write something else.

The process

It takes a shockingly long amount of time to get an article done for a magazine, it turns out. I was introduced to the writer in August. We spoke on the phone over a few 30 minute interview sessions to get the information she wanted for her piece. It was actually a lot of fun and she was wonderful to talk to. I appreciated that she already had a history with LGBT culture and parenting within it. She was careful and sensitive when asking questions. I absolutely cannot say a bad thing about the interview process.

Photography, on the other hand, was much more annoying. First they planned on taking photos off my blog. Then they decided a professional photographer would be better for the article. I myself remained on the fence for a long time about whether or not I wanted my children photographed and featured with the piece. In the end I decided to include them for mainly selfish reasons. First of all, I think our beautiful family will help people see that there’s nothing spectacular nor neglectful about being a transgender (or gay for that matter) parent. Secondly I think my fear of them having problems from being shown associated with this piece was unfounded. I can’t remember the faces of any of the children I’ve read about in Today’s Parent so why would anyone remember mine. Only our friends will recognise them and it’s time I came out to them anyway.

Anyway, once the photo session was agreed on they spent forever determining art direction. I got our photography appointment about 3 weeks ahead which was plenty of time. As for what we needed to wear, though, they informed me on the Monday for a Sunday photo shoot. This was shortly after my surgery where I still couldn’t drive and do much on my own, especially with the kids. It was a huge pain to find clothing that worked with their theme but I lucked out and grabbed them from a local store. Thankfully. I also wasn’t keen about spending money on a turtleneck (you’ll see) or clothes I wouldn’t normally buy. My family has an extremely tiny clothing budget for 7 people and most of what we get comes from the thrift store.

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To the art director in an email: “Here’s what the younger 4 kids are wearing, what colour shirt for the twins?” The back and forth was frustrating.

The photographer

I’ll admit here I was totally wrong with my expectations. I hate being photographed and my nerves were a wreck worrying about the kind of person who would be taking our picture. Ian was wonderful and surprisingly experienced photographing trans people. We had a great deal of fun even if the kids were awful.

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SEE? Turtle necks are not good for someone with no neck. I hate this pic but I thought you’d all appreciate the behind the scenes action my wonderful husband captured.

When You Can Read It

The article actually goes live in the digital version of the magazine tonight and will be in the print edition hitting mailboxes in a week or two then store shelves. The web version of the article will go up January 19th but I’m told that date could change. Make sure you follow me on Facebook where I’ll post the link.

How I’m Feeling

I’m really nervous about this one coming out. Like the one I wrote for Twiniversity, this will out me to even more people. It may even put my children at risk. I’m hoping that everyone who reads will try and find the positives in it and work at understanding and showing compassion towards LGBT families. If this can be a starting point for a conversation they didn’t know they should have or something they haven’t thought of much until now that would be amazing.