I have always loved children's books. Even before I had little people in my house, I collected children's books. They are my art collection, my most prized possessions.
So it was natural when my child, who was assigned "male" at birth showed interest in wearing dresses, l started hunting down children's books about other kids with equally creative explorations. And when my child asked for a name change and to use she/her pronouns, my hunt for books expanded. We now have a beautiful library of books about children from all walks of life expressing identity and gender in their own beautiful and unique ways.
But there is one thing every single book is missing.
I have yet to find a children's book about a gender-creative or transgender child that isn't about that very topic: gender. And most of them include a healthy portion of bullying too. The books all feel like they come from the perspective of looking at transgender and gender creative people as "different" and explaining what makes them that way and how "we" the majority should treat them with respect. Those books are valuable and vitally important. But they aren't enough. I want a book about a transgender person just living life, loving and existing in a world where their gender identity or expression is not their central narrative.
So since I have yet to find it, I've decided to write it.
Even as I write those words I feel a lump in my throat growing. The fear of writing a book is huge for me. I've cherished children's books for so long, idolized so many authors -- you should see what a ridiculous fan girl I turn into at the book festival every year. This dream scares me. But it won't go away.
My daughter inspires me. And she deserves to have great literature to read about brave people like her. Yes, it's true that she's brave because she isn't afraid to live her truth. She has boldly claimed an identity that many in society reject. But more than that, she's brave and beautiful because of the thousands of other aspects about her that make her who she is. Her gender identity is one small part about her. And as her mom, I long for everyone who interacts with her to see all the amazing things about her that have nothing to do with her gender identity.
So I'm writing a book. Not about my daughter, but about a little one inspired by her. Who lives life, has adventures, has superpowers -- oh and also happens to be transgender.
I've been dreaming of this for so long, and this is the first time I'm telling anyone besides my immediate family and my closest friends. I talked to my daughter this morning and she gave me approval to share with you, lovely World Pulse community, this is my dream.
I hope on International Women's Day next year to (maybe!) be able to share my book with you.