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Jun
30
2022
Village Life

My Name Is Iden | My kids call me ‘Deedee’

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By Iden Crockett

I didn’t know what it would be like to raise my children as a transgender woman, but I was pretty sure it would be awful. I braced myself for the awkward silences at pickup time and for my kids to run to me, teary-eyed, after a full day of being teased and bullied because of me. I imagined having to explain to them why their friends weren’t allowed to sleep over.

I wasn’t wrong to be worried, but I had forgotten something. My family lives in a little town called Yellow Springs, and thank goodness that we do.

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Last year, I was watching my youngest play on the playground with one of his classmates. I could see and hear him, but he had lost track of me. Immediately, he stopped the game and said to his friend, “Wait. I can’t see my Deedee.”

His friend, quickly proving to be both helpful and practical, replied “OK, what does he look like?”
Without hesitation, my little first-grader said, “No. It’s she. My Deedee is a woman. She is trans and her name is Iden.”

His friend considered this for nearly two seconds before saying, “OK. What does she look like?”
Working together they quickly spotted me and the game continued.

That is how easy it is to be a transgender parent here in this tiny corner of the world. My kids are not teased or bullied. Other parents socialize with me and my wife and no one hesitates to allow their children to hang with our queer little family. This could not be a better place to raise trans kids or to raise your children as a trans person.

Which has actually led me to a new dilemma.

How do I prepare my children for the larger world? There is a whole big world out there where many people do take issue with our family and others like us. How do we prepare them for life outside of their bubble without scaring them — or worse, replacing their innocence with cynicism?

My wife and I are just now facing this, and only time will tell how successful we were. Little by little, we’ve been introducing the kids to the struggles of other trans people and explaining more of my own negative experiences. Our hope is that, as they grow, they will be able to withstand the ugliness that they may face out there and that they will walk through that big world spreading the powerful lessons of kindness and acceptance that they learned here in our town.

Yellow Springs is just a small place, a little town that has plenty of room for moms, dads, and deedees. Thank goodness for that.

*Iden Crockett is an artist and writer. She lives in Yellow Springs with her wife and three children. You can follow her work at http://www.mynameisiden.com.

 

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