Parenting… The Next Generation


October 11 was National Coming Out Day.

I read the following quote on Facebook and it resonated with me:

“Support and love those that are strong enough to be themselves.” – Vin Zappacosta

I have spent the last 20 years of my life “coming out” and expecting (demanding) everyone accepts me for who I am. For the most part, they have and I am grateful for that. Thanks mom. 🙂

For this year’s National Coming Out Day, I am coming out in a new way. Inspired by Susan Berland’s post on the Parents Project about her experience of being the mother of a gay son. I have always admired the love Susan has offered to the whole LGBTQ community. She has opened her heart to LGBTQ children whose parents were not able to. She made sure they knew they were loved and valued.

I am coming out in honor of my child who is a beautiful, strong, brave soul who has held a mirror up in front of my face and asked me to do the exact same thing I asked of family and friends 20 years ago. They want me and everyone else to see them for who they are.

You see, they do not feel comfortable being put in to a gender box. Neither he nor she resonates with the way they feel inside.

Time to take a break and look at a cute photo of our beloved dog Poncho. I know for some of you this is a lot to take in.


Murphy and Poncho could care less what gender anybody identifies as, they just want you to be happy. If we could all be more like dogs, the world would be a better place.

My child (adultlet) has taught me there is a whole population of individuals who feel exactly this same way about their gender identity. These people have come up with some gender neutral pronouns they would like the rest of us to learn and use. My child’s preferred pronouns are: Xe, Xyr and Xem.

Xe replaces he or she.
Xyr replaces her or him.
Xem can replace them or be used in place of herself, himself for instance you would instead says xemself. But then why would you just say xyrself? As you can see, I am still learning this new to me lingo.

Most people’s first reaction to this concept is:

  • This is too much! My brain cannot compute.
  • This is a first world problem.
  • These people are freaks.
  • No, I am not going to do that, you are asking too much.

Please note: These reactions can be very hurtful to the person who is being brave and asking you to see them for who they are.

Others, are like, hey that’s cool. Time for me to retrain my brain. <– This is the preferred reaction and the one I am striving to have.

The point of this post is to bring awareness to these new pronouns and to use National Coming Out Day to come out as a parent of a queer youth who I am very proud of for being the beautiful, brave, strong soul they are. And as Vin said, for being strong enough to be themselves.

For many people all over the world it is still very scary and unsafe to come out in any form. I leave you with this thought from Rev. Sunshine Wolfe (via @RiteHereNow):

May those who feel the need to be in the closet have the support and care they need to live authentic and whole lives. May those who are coming out of the closet have supportive community and joy. May those who are out of the closet have safety, love, and hope for the future.

With marriage on the upswing, may we focus on putting an end to violence against LGBTQQIAA people, acquiring the right to housing and employment for transgender folks, and a sufficient number of trained medical communities to provide good and relevant care. May we care for our elderly queer people who too often find discrimination prevents quality end of life care. May gender-nonconforming and genderqueer people find a home in the language and spaces of our society.

We have come so far. We have so far to go. Gonna keep on moving forward!!!

One thought on “Parenting… The Next Generation

  1. Susan Berland

    Sally, I am honored that I inspired you to write this post and come out as the mom of queer youth. There is so much education that needs to be done on the whole gender spectrum. Many people don’t even understand what it means to be transgender and gender queer? What the heck are they talking about? It’s easy enough to dismiss it when it’s someone else’s child but when it’s your own, the only way to ignore it is to ignore your own child. Not an option in my opinion but unfortunately one too many parents take. I hope many of them see this and learn from it. Thank you for coming out – again!

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