By Ana Maria Hernandez – I gave birth to three sons; a set of twins, now 30, and a 25-year-old. They are my everything and I adore them. When my twins were 13 years old, they shared with my husband and me that they felt something different than others. They felt attraction for boys. For us this was difficult to believe because they were playful with girls and had often commented about liking one girl or another. Their attraction to boys scared me. I asked them if they wanted help from a psychologist, not because I thought that would help them be straight, but because I wanted my children to accept, love, and respect themselves and each other. I wanted them to find the strength to walk through their lives with their heads held high.
For me, acceptance was an eight-month process. I spent the early days crying and wondering constantly if I had done something that had caused them to be gay. I asked God, “Why my children?” They were so handsome, good, educated and prepared. HOW could this happen to my family? Months passed this way before I told myself “Enough!” I don’t know how or why I came to this point but I realized that my children needed my help. If I did not stand by them, then who would? Guidance and help was not up to the psychologist alone. They needed ME, their mother. I promised myself that I would be there with them through every step. I would support and love them as I always had. As the years passed I became their confidant and accomplice, someone they could talk and share with as they dated and found partners. I tried to help them in everything and I watched them thrive.
Two years ago, one of my twins seemed to become very anxious. He shared with us that he felt confused about his feminine side and wasn’t sure what to do with how he felt. This child was a great dancer with a dancer’s physicque who had always loved his long hair and nails. I did not have the answers for my child. One day, while watching a television program where they talked about the transgender community, I felt strongly by the end of the show, that my child was not gay but a transwoman. I shared these feelings with my child and together we looked for answers and help. We found it in an association called TransAmor (TransLove). With the help of this group we were able to find the medical treatments my child needed. I will forever be grateful for their help and support.
I also learned of the steep emotional mountains that my child would have to learn to navigate. The statistics for transgender people in Mexico are brutal. According to the Transgender Law Center and Cornell University Law School LGBT Clinic, since Mexico recognized same-sex marriage in 2010, several prominent advocates in the transgender community have been brutally murdered. Many of these killings occurred in Mexico City despite its adoption of a hate crimes statute and antidiscrimination laws. The number of trans murders has gone from 14 in 2010 to 120 in 2014. This number continues to rise as backlash grows from those that see the LGBT community as a threat to their traditional values. Laws in our country have made it possible to get name changes but it has not been easy. However, with help from TransLove, we have been able to create the documents that reflect who she truly is.
Today, both of my children are happy and fulfilled. My journey became much easier when I found a group of mothers just like me. Madres Dragones (Mama Dragons) understands my struggles and respects the place where each mother finds herself in, without passing judgment. With their support, mothers like me understand that we are not alone and that our children are still the same children we have loved all of their lives. I now understand that who they love does not change who they are. They are our children no matter how they identify or who they love. I understand now that my children have the right to be who they are and to be happy. I am a better person today because of them. I am free of prejudices and can love without conditions.
Ana Maria Hernandez Monterrey, Mexico