Being A Trans Daughter On Mother’s Day

By Imara Jones, TransLash creator

Episode 3 of TransLash is in many ways a love letter to my mother. It captured her strength, grace and mystery. The entire series captures my ongoing journey into womanhood, one that I hope will eventually lead to motherhood.

But my relationship with her had a lot of twists and turns, including years of not speaking. Even though my mom passed before I transitioned our relationship had all the hallmarks of a mother-daughter relationship with all of the complexities, tensions, rivalries and love that these relationships can have. This was especially true towards the end of her life as she spent that last year battling cancer, during which I battled right alongside her.

Families can be extremely tough for Trans people. We are of our parents, especially our mothers, and naturally want their love and approval. But they can also be our first, if not our primary, gender enforcers. This can be especially tricky for Trans women because in many ways our mothers serve as our role model. The irony then is that we can also seek to emulate those who, despite their best intentions, also oppress us.

But because we are human we need family. That’s why so many of us spend time, often successfully, working to get our blood families to accept us. It is also why we create new families either through blood ties, kinship ties or chosen family. These new families that we create form the backbone of our survival.

What this means for us is that Mother’s Day can be a trying time. It also means that we can have many types of mothers—as well as many feminine-identified people—who nurture, guide and protect us.

On this day we hold the complexity of motherhood and the boundless love at the center of it.


TransLash Episode 3 premiered April 12, 2019, at 12:30 PM ET on the TransLash Facebook page. Join the conversation; everyone is welcome to participate.

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