I’m fierce in protecting my children and do the absolute best I can as their parent. I do this not only because of the love I have for them, but because I essentially raised myself (and want better for my kids). I come from an abusive childhood and have spent my whole life attempting to heal from the damage done to me. The cycle stops with me. That’s been my mantra since I first found out I was expecting 29 years ago.
Above all, I’m an advocate for equality, for humanity, for children and for our planet. I fight for those who may not have a voice or who don’t feel strong enough to use it. I fight for those who are marginalized by society. I fight for my family. I fight for myself.
My kids are mostly grown: 28 (pan, daughter), 22 (ftm transgender son), 20 (cis son), 17 (questioning step daughter), and 13 (questioning step daughter). I too have been through my fair share of questioning in my life and if I had been born in a different time, I might have transitioned to a man. I didn’t, and came to find peace within the gender fluid label knowing that one day I am more typically masculine and the next, more typically feminine. I am just me. Neither male nor female or perhaps a bit of both. I defy labels in my refusal to accept just one.
We’ve all had our fair share of challenges. When my transgender son came out to me 6 years ago, I didn’t handle it the way I wish I had. I asked him if he was sure. I asked him what that meant. I asked him if it was a result of a traumatic event he had several years prior. What I wish I had said was that I love him and am with him on this journey of exploration and would be his biggest advocate. I also outed him to my coworkers thinking it wouldn’t be a big deal. He handled it like a champ, probably because they were very supportive, but I wish I had not. Maya Angelou said, “When we know better, we do better.” I strive to constantly do better in every aspect of my life. I try, anyway.
The job I mentioned in the above paragraph? It was the job I wanted and worked for all my life but it was short lived. I ended up having to retire due to medical reasons. The stress alone of working for a major city and being in the constant limelight was too much for me. So, I retired. One can only watch so much tv or clean so many areas of one’s home, so I decided to put my talents to use for the good of mankind, for all the struggling kids who feel lost or as if they don’t belong. I draw. I paint. I create. I do so daily, spreading vibrant watercolor paintings around the globe to offer what I hope is inspiration, understanding and a small piece of my good intentions to people in need.
I deeply understand the pain our kids go through. I understand their journey because I have walked a part of it. That road was difficult, but I have now reached a place of peace, of acceptance in the things beyond my power to change, and, most importantly, a place where love flows freely from me. This love enables me to fight for the things I CAN change. I am stronger from the adversity I’ve faced in my life and for that reason alone, I am grateful for every lesson in my life, regardless of the pain I experienced at the time.
Thank you for reading my story. If you want to see my art or commission a custom piece, you can find some of it at www.hueswithheart.com or follow me on social media.