Sharing My True Self

By Sylvie Griffiths:

Recently, I had an interview with a local LGBTQ publication about my blogs. The experience was everything; stressful, fun, exciting, and new. I always have anxiety related to talking about myself in any setting, but the interviewer was terrific. I felt comfortable and enjoyed the experience. Jake, our youngest, was especially thrilled that Mommy got interviewed.

When my youngest first identified as being transgender, we told people in our inner circle slowly. Some asked questions when Jake started wearing boys clothing and getting much shorter haircuts. These changes were obvious, but I think most people felt anxious about merely asking those questions. So, at times, the silence seemed a negative response to our little boy’s journey.

We welcome questions about Jake. He, like many third- graders, loves talking about himself. Our family is a team, and Jake is our youngest member. I am chatty by nature, but what if I said the wrong thing during my interview? I looked over my sample questions and was stressed out before the interview occurred. It’s hard to be your authentic self when you feel the entire world is watching.

We are all unique. We all are imperfect. We all have some things about ourselves that we are improving. I can quickly pour my feelings out on these blogs, but I worry about criticism like the next person. Will I sound weak discussing my mental illness? Will someone think we are awful parents for our decisions regarding our four kids from reading the blogs? There is so much “what if” in our lives when we chose to live authentically.

The interview last week gave me insight into how awkward some people might feel in discussing our unique family and Jake. I gave birth to him, but I am still working on the pronouns and language regarding his transition. If I hadn’t found books about raising transgender children, and friends who identify as transgender, I would have felt lost. Hearing other family’s stories impacted my own in beautiful ways; I understood that our new routine was regular.

Moving forward, I will share my blogs more with my close friends. I am modest about my writing. But I think hearing other people’s stories is so valuable. These stories can connect and change lives, even when you are not always aware of the impact of your account. The fact that someone wanted to know more about my family and our journey with Jake made all of us happy and even more proud.

About Sylvie Griffiths:

Sylvie is a happily married mother of four who enjoys writing, people and chocolate.

She is an Evaluation Associate and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Healthcare-Adult Community Concentration, from the University of South Florida. She holds more than ten years of experience in performance assessment and behavioral health services and is currently enrolled as an MBA student at Springfield College, School of Professional and Continuing Studies.