How a Gift Connected Me, a Trans Woman, with Three Generations of Women in My Family
“My cousin’s gift was validation, a connection I hadn’t even realized I was looking for.”
A week earlier, my cousin Jeanne had told me that she wanted to send me a “little memento” from my great-grandmother. “So often in our society, gifts are passed down from grandmother to granddaughter,” she said.
Slowly, I unwrapped the double boxes and waded through packing material, and then I finally saw them: six crystal wine glasses, adorned with a delicate leaf pattern. Carrie.
My great-grandmother’s first name had been Carrie. Somehow I had never known that before. Seeing her name—that name in particular—meant so much to me, though my cousin probably had no idea why when she sent me the glasses.
By my early thirties, I was having daily panic attacks, and I knew it was time to do something.
I can’t overstate how important my mother’s early support was for my transition. My mom and I grew closer as a result, and eventually we brought my dad into the fold. Like my mother, his initial reaction was one of support.
Katelyn Burns is a freelance journalist and trans woman who covers transgender issues, feminism, and sports. Her previous work can be found at The Washington Post, Esquire, The Establishment, and VICE. She currently calls Maine home, where she lives with her two young children. You can follow her on Twitter @transscribe.
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