To all my trans brothers and sisters who are also parents, I’d like to wish you all a happy Maddy’s Day! Yes, I’m more than well aware that most people in this country tend to cling to the traditional ‘Father’s Day’ moniker, and we all just going to have to be OK with that for now. The likelihood of ever achieving a majority is looking pretty grim, which is probably for the best to be honest. I thought it would be a good time to talk about the whole ‘Maddy’ thing, because seriously, when would be better? Steak and Blowjob day? By the way, I just heard of this and apparently it’s a real thing. C’mon, say it with me…ugh.
“So, for any of you who have kids, what exactly do they call you anyway?” I brought it up at a Spectrum meeting a while back looking for some good ideas. I got a lot of blank stares, though one volunteered that her kids called her ‘dad’ in private and by her first name in public. My son had just turned 4 at the time, so that wasn’t going to work. ‘Mom’ was pretty much irrevocably attached solely to the woman who carried and breast fed him, as it should be. We tried ‘Poppy’ for a while, but it failed to stick. In the mean time, loud, head-turning calls of “Dad!” continued to plague me in crowded places.
The term ‘Maddy’ was coined by Jenny Boylan’s kids who cleverly put together ‘Mommy + Daddy = Maddy’. Apparently it was either that or ‘Dommy’ which really seems to send the wrong kind of message, especially when uttered by wee folk who are begging to watch fucking ‘Caillou’ for some insane reason. I was grateful to have something else to try and for whatever reason, Maddy stuck after a solid half year of constant encouragement. Well, sort of.
I’ve been talking a lot about this lately, so I’ll leave my recent stories where they are told best. I will add though that this year the ‘dad’ thing came back with a real resurgence. Where he felt comfortable making me things that said ‘Maddy’ in pre-school, in kindergarten there has been a back slide. It does make me smile though. He made me a booklet that is androgynous for the most part, though the pictures are female. It’s a little odd seeing a pre-printed handout titled “This is my dad” with a hand drawn picture of me with long hair and a skirt. In one of the fill in forms, under another pre-printed, “I like it when my dad wears his…”, he wrote in “dresses”. What makes me laugh is the notion that it was probably hanging on the classroom wall and eliciting more than one quizzical expression. It’s all good and I’m grateful for all of it, including the big ‘mug of beer’ shaped balloon with “Happy Father’s Day!” printed on it that Gramma helped him buy.
Speaking of which, my heart goes out today to so many trans folk out there who won’t be able to see their children today as a direct result of their honest gender identity. When I ramble on about the challenges my 5 year old brings, I try to always keep in mind that I would far rather have to navigate them than not. If you are in the latter situation, I’m so sorry and I pray that given time and a slowly building global understanding, the situation will vastly improve for you if it can. The price we pay for being ourselves varies from person to person, but there is no doubt that some pay much more dearly than others.
Happy Maddy’s day to all, whether you will celebrate today or are just hoping for a future improvement that allows celebration in the future. Either way, you brought new life into the world with hope and promise for the potential it might have. No matter what else, at least that will always be true.