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A mother’s love

A mother’s love

What is it about being in the presence of your mother’s love? There’s nothing like it. The calm, the warmth, the sense of security, being cushioned and cocooned, the quiet gentle support.

My mum was my perfect support partner today before during and after the surgery. And I got her all to myself!

I’m so grateful to be in my mother’s presence.

Last time I had this surgery in Jan I had kept it hidden, I was doing it on my own and was isolated. This time I built support and had so much love sent to me from all over the world. Thank you. I love you. And thank you Mum for being the best Mum in the world.

Love
Danica

A gift to the world

A gift to the world

Today is the anniversary of Alan’s death. I have to admit, today has been a bit of swirl for me. However, 37 years ago today, when Mum was pregnant with me and had 3 kids under the age of 6, Alan died unexpectedly. And while there are some amazing things I inherited from my father – like my hair that naturally quiffs and my eye colour, I was raised by another man, Geoffrey Baker. Not only did he marry my Mum when I was 1 and a half and carry me down the aisle, he took on an instant family – my brother, my two sisters and me. What kind of man does that? A man with a big enough heart. He raised us as his own and got his job done – we all turned out wonderfully. Plus we have the invaluable bonus of a younger sister who also turned out wonderfully. Together we make up the ‘Baker family’.

They say if you are not complete with your parents, you’ll predictably play out the same probable future over and over in your own relationships. I wrote Alan a letter and got to express things I’d never said before – like, how disappointed I was that I never got to look him in the eyes and how mad at him I was that he didn’t bother to stick around and meet me. As if he had a choice!  I had a rocky road with my parents in my early twenties and I’m grateful to say that all of that is now in the past – where it belongs. I only have to think about my Mum or think about my Dad and I’m moved to tears by who they are and how much I love them –and they love me. My family loves me and accepts me as I am and sometimes I forget that. Then I remember and I think, I am so blessed.

I am my father’s legacy and I am also the progeny of those who loved me and raised me. Thank you for my life Mum, Dad and Alan. It took a village.

“I think you’re both genders…”

“I think you’re both genders…”

I’m surrounded by family, gathered in Mum and Dad’s lounge room to view my photos from Thailand to San Francisco. We get to the launch of The Gender Book which I attended at the Center for Sex & Culture, a library large enough to have those cool sliding ladders along the bookshelves and the largest edition of Tom of Finland I’ve ever seen! I joined a table where we each coloured in a world map of all genders from the book. My map and I won a brand new edition of the book to take home. Naturally, the four kids in my family have questions. How did I win? What’s the book about? Go back one, I want to study the map, really study it… What’s gender mean?

The Gender book is about fostering greater understanding of gender in all persons. My audience is wide eyed and ages 4-8 in the front row at Mum and Dad’s and so I start the conversation off with, ‘Well, you know how some people are boys and some people are girls, some people are both genders -‘

My 8 year old nephew interjects, ‘I think you’re both genders.’ I look at him for a brief second, about to explain myself, to say something from my point of view. In a heartbeat, I realise I don’t need to justify or explain anything. The sheer innocence, curiosity, wonder and awe emanating from his face is enough for me to respond with a heartfelt, ‘Thank you.

My sister continues the conversation thoughtfully explaining terms like cis meaning people who match the body they were born into and trans meaning people who are born into one body but are not that. Here my brother in law adds in, ‘I work with a lady who used to be a man. She’s lovely.’ I watch the kids faces as they listen intently. It makes sense. Soon they’re ready for the next lot of photos, something about horse riding down at Big Sur.

If the Gender book exists to extinguish oppression and create safe spaces for gender diverse people and their allies through education, then person by person, family by family, we are fulfilling on that.

www.thegenderbook.com