Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Loving my child
by Marsha Aizumi
2011-02-23

This article shared 4094 times since Wed Feb 23, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


My oldest child was born female. Today he lives as a man. For 20 years, he struggled to align his physical body with his core being. I watched that struggle and I saw his pain, but I didn't know how to help my son. His own mother did not know what to do. The man that lived inside of him screamed to be recognized. He tried to ignore this male voice, but the voice could not be silenced.

Then one day, he spoke the words that opened up a whole new world for me … "I want to transition to be a guy". And those words changed both of our lives, setting in motion our journey as a family and his journey to become the man he was meant to be.

Throughout 2009, my daughter became my son. Day by day, small and large steps presented themselves and we weighed each one. Some steps we took and others were discounted or deferred to a later date. Aiden began hormone therapy and had "top" surgery. We went to court to change his gender and he completed all the paperwork to be officially recognized as male. With each change, my happy, confident child began to return to me. Hope came back into his heart. Today, he smiles more. He dreams often. And he has found love, when he thought love would never appear.

Because of all the wonderful transformations and in gratitude for my son still being alive, I searched for a place that I could make a difference … a place where I could give back in appreciation for what had been given to me. And a place that touched my heart so deeply that I would commit myself to doing this work the rest of my life. And as I searched I found an answer.

Aiden's high school years were filled with some of the most painful, humiliating and lonely moments of his life. He was harassed regularly at school and physically assaulted outside school. Once attacked for no reason and another time assaulted with a bat, I lived in fear for his life. At a time when my son should be soaring with hope and possibilities, looking forward to his future, he led a life of depression, solitude and withdrawal. He suffered from panic attacks. He was diagnosed agoraphobic. He almost didn't graduate high school, so afraid of leaving home.

But my son did graduate and after taking off one semester to recover from his difficult senior year in high school, he decided to attend college. Once his life took a positive turn, I started to envision a place for bullied and harassed high school students to find a safer, and more nurturing environment to get their high school diploma. With the help of many visionary leaders in the Los Angeles LGBT community, a program opened in February 2010 at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center. A partnership between Opportunities for Learning Public Charter School and LifeWorks, a youth program at the Gay & Lesbian Center became the perfect collaboration. Here students both LGBT and LGBT friendly can be in school without fear of being bullied, harassed or physically hurt. They can receive an accredited high school diploma and go on to college. And they can start to dream about a life where they can be accepted and valued for the gifts and talents that they possess.

Besides the LA Center, I am searching for other cities to open up programs. I have talked with people in Chicago and I dream of doing something at the Center at Halsted. A beautiful location with an amazing vibe, I can imagine LGBT youth coming to the Center, loving the opportunity to study in a safe space that is both inspiring and welcoming. It would fill my heart with joy to know that there is a place for Chicago youth who might struggle and feel that the world offers no hope. I want them to know there is hope. This I know is true, because I have walked with my son on this hopeless path. But neither of us gave up … I did not give up on him and he did not give up on himself. And so this path became part of our journey to discover how courageous we could be … how strong and resilient was our spirit … but most of all how much love could flow from our hearts to each other.

I found my life purpose through Aiden's journey, but I also found the real individual that lived within my child. Oh what I would have missed, if I didn't open my heart and mind, acknowledging the truth that was my son.

Marsha Aizumi lives in Arcadia, Calif. She currently works as a director of educational programs, developing experiential learning and academic opportunities that empower and inspire at risk youth in California, Colorado and Illinois. Her first book, Two Spirits, One Heart—a memoir about her transgender son's journey—is written through the eyes of a mother. See www.marshaaizumi.com .


This article shared 4094 times since Wed Feb 23, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

PASSAGES Writer, attorney, activist Takeia R. Johnson 2021-07-25
- The local organization Affinity Community Services announced the recent passing of Takeia R. Johnson. According to Johnson's LinkedIn profile, she was editor-in-chief and lead writer at Inclusion at Work as well as a Ph.D. student focusing ...


Gay News

SAVOR Talking with new Travelle Chef de Cuisine Qi Ai; Profile of Travelle's breakfast 2021-06-09
- Travelle Chef de Cuisine Qi Ai Travelle at the Langham (330 N Wabash Ave.; https://www.travellechicago.com/) has undergone a major change during the COVID pandemic: New Chef de Cuisine Qi (pronounced "tee") Ai was promoted from sous ...


Gay News

MOVIES Dutch journalist talks about making 'My Friend, the Mayor' 2021-02-17
- In the Amazon Prime Video documentary My Friend, the Mayor: Small-town Democracy in the Age of Trump, Dutch journalist Max Westerman profiles friend Sean Strub, an openly gay activist, activist, long-term AIDS survivor and POZ magazine ...


Gay News

Booksellers launch "Boxed Out" campaign, a look at consumer choices 2020-10-22
--From a press release - (New York, New York) 20% of independent bookstores across the country are in danger of closing. Today, theAmerican Booksellers Association launched the "Boxed Out" campaign to draw attention to the high stakes indie bookstores face this ...


Gay News

Author/academic John D'Emilio on new book, future endeavors 2020-10-01
- Queer Legacies: Stories from Chicago's LGBTQ Archives is a new book by Gerber/Hart Library and Archives President and University of Illinois at Chicago History and Women's and Gender Studies Professor Emeritus John ...


Gay News

Out Illinois State coach dives into new position 2020-09-16
- Logan Pearsall, an accomplished college diver who has since transitioned into master's level diving, was competing at the 2017 FINA World Masters Championships in Budapest, Hungary. He was doing a challenging inward dive from a one-meter ...


Gay News

Joseph Baar Topinka preserves legacy of mother: Pro-gay Republican Judy 2020-09-02
- Riverside resident Joseph Baar Topinka is still impressed with the resolve and stamina with which his late mother, longtime GOP politician Judy Baar Topinka, was able to "slug it out" in the political arena. "She got ...


Gay News

'Making Sweet Tea': Out NU dean talks about new documentary 2020-08-18
- Performer and Northwestern University Dean E. Patrick Johnson discussed his new film and the importance of reclaiming storytelling agency in a virtual Q&A Lambda Legal hosted Aug. 9. Johnson, dean of Northwestern University's School of Communication, ...


Gay News

Asha Ransby-Sporn talks building on the anti-racism movement's legacy 2020-08-05
- With anti-racism protests happening around the United States, in what some media outlets are saying is the largest movement in this country's history, demands to abolish the police have increasingly been a part of the rallying ...


Gay News

Local lesbian couple celebrate 50 years together 2020-08-05
- When Alice Cozad and Linda Young met each other as freshmen at the University of Iowa they knew almost instantly that they would be together as a couple for the rest of their lives. "The electricity ...


Gay News

Teen LGBTQ+ activist aims to inspire with Be You Tiful Initiative 2020-07-31
- Allison Frank is a 16-year-old lesbian activist from Lincolnshire's Stevenson High School who found her passion for activism and began the Be You Tiful Initiative. It all started when Frank was feeling overwhelmed in a makeup ...


Gay News

Cicero student finds his voice 2020-07-29
- When Jorge Martinez-Arevalo was in eighth grade, he was elected president of an LGBTQ+ after-school club at Unity Junior High School, in Cicero. During his eighth-grade year, the club, which is known as NJAW (short for ...


Gay News

Chicago man takes face masks into luxury 2020-07-10
- During COVID-19 David Altman is encouraging people to wear their heart on their face with masks that his brand Vintage Luxe Up is currently making out of vintage luxury designer silk scarves. Altman grew up on ...


Gay News

E. Patrick Johnson, a man of firsts 2020-07-08
- E. Patrick Johnson is a man often associated with the word "first." He was the first in his family to go to college, and the first Black native of Hickory, North Carolina, to receive a Ph.D., ...


Gay News

Gay sign-language interpreter on press conferences, LGBTQs 2020-04-01
- As a child, Michael Spencer Albert never knew how important his hands would be one day as an interpreter for the deaf community. He was born in Edgewater Hospital and grew up in Skokie. In college, ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.