Our featured writer today is Kelly Price!
Let’s give her a warm welcome.
If you would like your talent featured in the Artists in Our Midst series or Authors in Our Midst series, send me an email message. Don’t be shy! I have no more Artists posts in the queue, so please get in touch if you would like to be featured.
by Kelly Price
This is a story of unconditional love under extraordinary circumstances.
In the autumn of 2018 I took a transgender boy I had met only once out to lunch, anticipating becoming an adult friend and mentor to him as he worked his way through college and his transition. I ended up becoming his mother. He and I tell this tale together. “Somewhere Under the Rainbow” is our story. It’s got everything – intrigue, action, irreverent humor, romance, noodles, math… wait. Math?
We try to approach serious topics – mental health issues, gender related healthcare, college concerns, dating, siblings, and so forth – with humor and candor. We explore the integration of an unexpected addition into a family from both points of view and we look at how being transgender colors everything Jayce does.
Allow me to introduce the authors. Yours truly is a fiftyish hippie type lady with too much hair, usually sporting a Pride shirt. Jayce is a cute college kid with a ready smile and a hell of a lot of energy. We often say that we share the same brain; we are eerily alike. This book has an unusual voice for the genre of books on LGBTQ parenthood. We have natural goofiness and vivid imaginations. My brain especially tends to send images and ideas from somewhere deep in the limbic system all the way to the cortex that are totally inappropriate for whatever the situation at hand might be. I am the sort of person who has to guard against giggling at solemn occasions because an irrelevant but funny image or story will occur to me. I have been known to literally wake up laughing.
75% of the kids in the Price household are somewhere under the Rainbow, meaning they fit under the LGBTQ umbrella. 100% of Price kids are glorious human beings with a wide array of talents and characteristics. Their father and I routinely look at them and shake our heads in astonishment that we’ve been granted a hand in raising these extraordinary people.
The book is an exploration of what it’s like to live under the Rainbow, what it’s like to parent kids who live their lives beneath those brilliant colors, and what we’d like the world to know. Parenting LGBTQ kids is very much like parenting every other sort of kids. They get lumped together because they share the characteristic of membership in a marginalized group. The statistics on these kids are sobering. 52% of trans kids have seriously considered suicide in the past year according to the Trevor Project’s annual survey. They make up 40% of kids in foster care. One in four loses their home when they come out. They’re more likely to engage in risky behaviors and self-harm. Most of this is because they’re discriminated against. They get bullied, forced into the wrong bathrooms, told they can’t possibly be who they know they are, the list goes on and on.
Transgender kids are not a tragedy! They’re just kids! Granted, they might require some specialized care, but every kid has something to contend with. The fact of their gender status really shouldn’t be any more relevant than it is for kids who feel aligned with the gender assignments they receive at birth.
We believe the voices of ordinary families who are on journeys that involve gender expansiveness need to be louder than the ignorant, hateful rhetoric that pervades our nation’s legislative chambers today. The only think tank that should get a say in the destinies of LGBTQ kids and their families is those same kids and families. Bigotry has no place here. We believe that when our kids tell us who they are, we are being given a privilege and a sacred trust that needs to be treated with care. We believe that all LGBTQ and gender expansive kids are kids first, and like any other kids they need to play sports and do chores and be loved and grow up.
We’re glad you’re here. Welcome. We hope you enjoy our story.
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