I didn't really want to teach. I wanted to be a mother and do homework with my kids.
She said, "Maybe something in Art and Design?" My career has been a collection of lucky stumbles. If I'm honest, up until teaching, I never had any connection to anything I did; art, office work, plants, trees, collecting, styling, records, delivering, selling. I always felt utterly detached. Teaching connected me back to my desire to be a parent. I adored it but it made me sad. Because I didn't really want to teach. I wanted to be a mother and do homework with my kids. I decided I had to transition sitting in the garden of the Oakland museum of Art in California. I was there on a break visiting friends. Looking up through a Carl Andre steel sculpture painted buttercup yellow to a radiant blue sky beyond and then down the sharp yellow lines to a row of perfectly grown lilac-purple agapanthus swaying imperceptibly and then down their acid green stems to a lawn edged in steel. Perfect lines, perfect edges held tight, borders defined. I sobbed as I felt like everything about me was so undefined, so imperfect. I was a teacher who dreaded school every day because I wanted the simplicity of parenthood but was now a senior leader in a very large school, wearing men's clothes. I knew that all the years of wanting a vagina, a womb, of wanting to have the right body and wanting to be seen as me, the real me, had finally come to a head. I wanted to prepare lunch boxes. I wanted to be a mother. I wanted to be sturdy like the Carl Andre piece. I wanted to become me. I wanted me to be kissed and loved. My life changed there. I only wish I'd had that moment years sooner and somehow found a way to become a mother. Friends who are my age are now delighting in grandchildren, and friends who are younger are proudly posting about children moving on from primary to secondary school. I want to not feel jealous. I want to not feel sad, I want to be in their moment and feel joy because children are joyous. But I don't. I feel like I want to hide away from their joy. To hide away from others whose lives change, whose lives are generationally linked through love to others whom they laugh with, whom they despair with and whom they plan with. My wonderful mother – who is the mother I'd love to be (huge hearted) – told me that I could still foster. I think she truly knows the kind of mother I could have been. "I'm way too old mum and I'm trans and HIV positive. I'm not sure anyone would let me foster, would they?" "They'd be stupid not to." She replied.
As trans women, it seems we are only allowed to talk about certain things: being born in a 'body wrongly perceived', but not about missing a womb and the loss of not being a mother.