Someone recently asked Matt if he thinks he’s too hard on C.J. and his brother at some moments and too easy on them at others. The line of questioning irritated me because Matt is an amazing father. The next day, Matt sent to me this beautiful letter for safe keeping for C.J. (Chase got his own letter.)
Your mom loves this quote and has had it above her desk for years. I’ve seen it there and read it so many times that now it’s one of my favorites, too. It makes me think of you.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.”— Marianne Williamson
I have said in many interviews over the past two years that the most important job I have as a father is to raise you and your brother to be respectful, responsible, courageous people. I don’t care if you love males, females or people who identify as neither or all of the above. I don’t care what toys you play with or what colors you like. I care that you respect yourself and others. That you are responsible for your own things and actions and the effects they potentially have on other people. I want you to act courageously, not cowardly. You don’t have to be a hero, but don’t make other people your victims or allow people to make you theirs. Always remember, being compassionate and understanding is just as important as being strong and decisive.
You make me proud and I love watching you grow as the years keep flying by. I’m inspired everyday by your creativeness, bravery and confidence.
A lot of times, when I hear LGBTQ people talk about growing up, they say that their parents were mean to them. I want you to always remember that I never, ever, do anything just to be mean to you or because I don’t love you or because I don’t approve of you. I like you. I love you. I approve of you. I think you’re perfect.
I’m sure you’ll find my parenting frustrating at times. You may think my rules are too strict and unwavering. I’m okay with that, because I’m a parent. I’m trying to help you become the best person you can be. I will push you and teach you and love you and support you. That’s my job. I’m sure at times you will say that I’m too hard on you or that I hold you to higher standards than other people. I’m alright with that too, because I do. As a parent, it is harder to be tough and consistent than lenient and convenient. I’m constantly working my hardest to help you be your best.
As you grow up, you will disappoint your mother and me by making poor choices. That’s alright too. That’s why it’s called growing up. I just want you to grow from the times when you stumble. I’ll always be right behind you to pick you up and point you in the right direction again. That’s my job. Your job is to learn from your mistakes. You have to get back on the right path and let me hold your hand as you walk a little farther along.
When you are an adult and leave our home, you will never leave my heart or my family. By that time, I hope I will have prepared you to be an exceptional person with inspirational qualities. I am so proud of the person you are becoming and the character you are already demonstrating. Always be true to who you are. Never doubt who you are. Never.
Life will be tough and unfair. People will be jerks. You may be judged and people may be condescending toward you. Don’t let anyone make you play small. Don’t ever let anyone prevent you from being your most honest, whole self. Don’t shrink to make others feel more comfortable. Your true personality and character are what make you the person I love.
Your journey will be difficult and frustrating like many other young adults. Always remember that when things get hard I will be right behind you pushing you to learn and be resilient. I will always love you and support you and I will always have your back, ALWAYS.
What an amazing letter and post! You are great parents and it shows, what lucky kids!
I wish all Dad’s were this amazing. Every child deserves this.
OMG!!!! That is gorgeous!!!!!!!!
Every time you write about Matt, it restores my faith in men.
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Great! Sitting in the full tram and reading this made my eyes water and I might have even sobbed! Powerful words!
this is make me cry right now.
I don’t see Ryland as being gender creative. He was a boy & knew it. Fortunately, his parents learned early on the true meaning our children come through us but they are individuals. I have respect for this family and their journey. Hopefully modern science will catch up to our brains demands. Instead of a lifetime of hormone therapy after sex reassignment surgery, a gene switch will be turned on and reproductive organs will not be an issue. Brave, loving, intelligent parents are the gift every child deserves but here one small boy actually alights in the true meaning of family.
You are an awesome parent! I love every bit of whatever you wrote. Proud of you and C.J. will do you proud too!
Your husband is an amazing father, and any time that you write about him or share some of his experiences, it melts my heart and gets me choked up. Thank you for sharing this…
Totally just started crying at my desk. Lovely, lovely letter. Thank you for sharing.
I teared up so hard reading this. You have such an exceptional and supportive family. And this father is the model one. I wish my parents were like this for me when I was coming out.
Reblogged this on Fairy JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM and commented:
A beautiful letter from a dad to his gender creative son…
Ok, that’s the first time reading something has made me tear up since I started testosterone. Powerful words. C.J. is worth every one, I’ve no doubt. Y’all rock!
You’re an amazing parent. Your children are loved and respected. I am so touched by your letter.
Oh my god this kind of made me cry. C.J. and Chase are very lucky to have parents as wonderful and amazing as you two are, and it’s inspiring how Matt loves his kids and supports them no matter what.
💛💙💜💚❤️ I heart this post so much
Perfect Matt. Just perfect. I am a huge believer in what MLK said about judging a man by the strength of his character and not by the color of his skin. I have come to paraphrase that to say judge not a human by their gender, their affections or affectations, nor their own personal sense of beauty and fashion, but by the strength of their character and the strength and love they bring to themselves and others. Seems like you’re teaching and demonstrating that very thing to your children. Outstanding job doing your job.
What an amazing letter! This should be given to all parents when their children are born! Your family are rock stars!
This is an amazing letter. I must share it! You guys are the most incredibly loving and supportive parents. Bravo to your husband and to you for all you do to make people aware and change the world for the better!
This made me a bit teary eyed. So sweet and honest. Such a good parenting goal.
If every parent thought like this it would be a much better world.
Wow, just wow. That is an amazing letter.
Growing up is so much easier with support.
It’s interesting that society has very different expectations of men and women when it comes to parenting.
Wow. I’m wavering between crying and wanting to should out “HELL YEAH!” at the top of my lungs.
This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read in a long time. Thank you so much for sharing.
EVERY parent needs to read this….THIS is what parenting is all about. Thank you for sharing your insights and wisdom AND letting us share in the journey of raising your boys.
Thank you. My father passed away two weeks ago, this is how he raised my brothers and me. So,tell C.J. that there may be frustrations in the years to come,but there will also be gratitude. And the hope that you can be as amazing a parent, if you choose, as your father and mother. Blessings to your family.
You guys are all amazing!!!!!!!!!!
This family gets better every day.
Damn, but I hadn’t planned on crying today.