01-29-21 A Mother’s Evolution During Her Child’s Gender Change: Paria Hassouri
On Thanksgiving morning, Paria Hassouri finds herself furiously praying and negotiating with the universe as she irons a dress her fourteen-year-old, designated male at birth, has secretly purchased and wants to wear to dinner with the extended family. In this wonderfully frank, loving, and practical account of parenting a transgender teen, Paria chronicles what amounts to a dual transition: as her child transitions from male to female, she navigates through anger, denial, and grief to eventually arrive at acceptance. Despite her experience advising other parents in her work as a pediatrician, she was blindsided by her child’s gender identity. Paria is also forced to examine how she still carries insecurities from her past of growing up as an Iranian-American immigrant in a predominantly white neighborhood, and how her life experience is causing her to parent with fear instead of love. Paria discovers her capacity to evolve, as well as what it really means to parent.
Paria Hassouri, MD, is the author of Found in Transition. A pediatrician, mother of three, and transgender rights activist, her essays have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, and Women’s Running Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her online at http://www.PariaHassouri.com
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