A Poem by Annette Langlois Grunseth

When Your Child Comes Out

 

I often think of the day you were born when
I held my sweet boy for the first time,
marveling where did you come from?
It’s a lot to take in, when your child comes out.

As I go upstairs to bed I stare at old photos in the hall,
your short-cropped hair, striped shirt, toddler jeans,
that little-boy smile. I walk past you in a suit and tie for
graduation. At Christmas tears still well up as
my fingers trace the “old” name on the stocking.
It’s a lot to take in, when your child comes out.

But now you walk with confidence,
meet new people with ease,
get together with women friends.
Your skin is soft like pink on a peach,
your blue eyes sparkle, your child-like humor has returned
and your familiar expressions are back.

You are the same person
only now that doubting discord is gone.
You live through yourself, instead of beside yourself.

You are the daughter I always wanted.

 

 

 

 

Annette Langlois Grunseth has a BA in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a lifetime member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Her poems have appeared in Wisconsin Academy Review, Midwest Prairie Review, SOUNDINGS: Door County in Poetry, The Poetry Box/Poeming Pigeons, The Ariel Anthology and other publications. Several of her nature poems were set to original music and performed at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. She is retired from a career in Marketing and Public Relations and lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband John, where they both advocate for equal rights. She is the author of Becoming Trans-Parent, One Family’s Journey of Gender Transition (Finishing Line Press).

After the surprise of learning about their oldest child’s transition, Annette and her husband, John, offered immediate and unconditional love which has taken their family on an amazing journey of understanding, empathy and acceptance. Annette shares her poetry as a way to increase awareness, one audience at a time. To know someone first hand dealing with gender transition is to dispel myths and stereotypes about gender identity. John, a retired human resources professional, stays on top of employment, healthcare and human rights law. Together they tackle the issues essential to their daughter and other LBGTQIA citizens. Annette is also an avid outdoors woman who enjoys kayaking, bicycling, camping and exploring our national parks.

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