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From A Mother

By | 2014-12-04T09:00:00-05:00 December 4th, 2014|Opinions, Viewpoints|

By Susan Russick

My husband and I adopted Michigan as our home 30 years ago. We found jobs, bought a house, purchased cars and usually put our hard earned dollars right back into Michigan’s economy. We had four Michigan-born children, put them through a K-12 public school system here and sent them to a state university where we felt they could all get a fine start on their adult lives. Between 2009 and 2012, our oldest three children graduated from Michigan State University’s James Madison Residential College, the College of Education and the newly formed Residential College of Arts and Humanities. Our youngest is currently an RA while she completes her studies at MSU’s Lyman Briggs Residential College. Our kids aren’t slouches. They are solid citizens who always vote, support their friends and neighbors, perform well in school, love their nuclear family and have each laid the groundwork for productive adult lives.
Three years ago one of our children came out to us all as a trans woman. We were as shocked as most folks would be under the circumstances, but what gave us strength in that confusing time was that we already knew this child to be bright, funny, kind and of sound mind. We didn’t worry that this was the influence of others or that she was crazy, and hate-mongers only made us stronger. We quickly began to learn what this condition would mean in her life and realized that while her dad and I were helping the four kids prepare for a stable, adult life, she had slowly been coming to the realization that life might be anything but stable! Once we were brought into the light, we got busy and read what this was, how it is managed and who, if anyone, could help us.
It turned out, medical researchers and physicians at our state’s very own universities were well-versed in our daughter’s medical condition and they were ready to give us guidance in a variety of ways. These are our finest institutions of higher learning! They are some of the best in the country. Please contact them and see what they think of our State Legislature’s intention to essentially legalize the discrimination of their trans-clients. I imagine an afternoon with some of the most brilliant physicians in the country might enlighten you and your colleagues on the irony of turning against the fellow Michiganders who need your support the most.
If your intent as our political leaders is to have all Michiganders in stable employment enabling them to contribute to our state economy as my husband and I have always done, if it is to create a progressive image that will attract others to our state (both transgender and non-transgender), if you would like forward-thinking Michiganders to keep their families here… if any, or all of that, is your goal, you may first want to protect Michiganders, like my daughter, rather than wait for the rest of the country to go first. Other states are leading the way, and Michigan will eventually be a follower. I hope our elected officials think more of Michigan’s future than that.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.