Last year at this time, my then first-grader asked me to take her to the father-daughter dance at her school repeatedly, and every time, my refusal made her cry. She begged and whined, "Why, Daddy, why?" What I was too ashamed to explain last year at this time was that I was afraid around other dads because I didn't look like a dad.
From one sentence I realized, it's not for me to understand something I can't naturally relate to, but I must be compassionate. No one owes anyone a detailed breakdown of their personal and private experiences (especially when it can be so hard to put into words). The message is: I don't feel like my true self.
The discussion about whether Bruce Jenner is transitioning has me feeling simultaneously hopeful and deeply uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because, as a daughter of a "transparent," the tabloid tone of ridicule with which the speculation has been presented recalls the cruel words I heard behind my back growing up.
So far, only California, New Jersey, and Washington, DC have banned conversion therapy for minors. There are bans pending in other states, but Republicans continue to vote them down -- as happened in Virginia recently. Still, people spoke up, via a petition, and the White House listened. And that, people, is what we call a very good start.