We are big on heroes at our house. One of my favourite memories from when Jeremy was a baby and Luke was six was a handmade birthday card, stick figures of a boy and a little round baby with a word bubble “my brother, my hero”. “Does she really think I am a hero?” asked Luke. “Yes honey she loves you totally and looks up to you”. “She must have worked on this for hours” said a small voice as he looked at his card again and a sibling relationship received some much needed cement as a child who was not coping with having a sibling realised that he was a very important to one small child. Year later I found that card in his memory box, I took that as a sign that I had a very significant parenting win that day.
Jeremy has had many heroes, rock stars mostly. I have watched in fascination as he has become politically aware, I think I have a budding protester on my hands – hooray!!!! He started marching for equal marriage rights in 2010 and was stoked when in 2012 he met Magda Szubanski at a rally.
Today Jeremy became my hero.
Thanks to Jeremy’s pediatrician the Safe Schools Coalition Victoria contacted Jeremy’s high school and set up a meeting. Jeremy exhibited all his usual signs of anxiety before the meeting. I am grateful he used some of the nervous energy to do a couple of loads of washing. He posted on Facebook and I am happy I told him that he didn’t need luck today, he had passion and knowledge,
Jeremy told me about the meeting after I collected him from the train station this afternoon. He was elated about the outcomes, the representative from SSVC was someone that Jeremy knew. Then Jeremy started recounting what he had said about his journey through high school. I lived that journey, but the stark raw summation by Jeremy in the car left me breathless. There were things that I was aware of, of course, like the evil little shit that tried to set Jeremy’s hair on fire. What I was not aware of was the daily grind of people, including teachers, who found themselves without the tools to be able to communicate with Jeremy. Jeremy described it like being treated like he was an object. He acknowledged that the school had done what it could, what they were all facing was ignorance. He was aware that teachers struggled with the concept of a transgender student and how to address him. He still tried to get out the door every morning to face that wall of non-understanding, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.
There were positive outcomes from today. He has been invited to present to the teacher’s next year to help them learn, to demystify transgender students. The school has signed onto the SSCV.
Jeremy will probably not be at the school next year to see the changes that he has started pending his acceptance to distance education but he is willing to participate in this program to benefit the next transgender child at the school, and the one after them.
He saw the title of this blog and wants to know when he gets his cape.