In the spotlight

In the spotlight

Dear Ryan,

Some time ago we were sitting outside on a terrace and suddenly a woman walked up to our table. I thought she might want to ask for directions, but she asked: “Are you those people who are making a documentary? I would like to follow you.” We were surprised and told her where to find us online.

With everything we encounter in life I think: should this be part of a column or our documentary, or should we remember this event to give a strong quote in an interview? It is as if I have this helicopter view of myself and our family, and if we get stopped and asked questions while we are out on the streets I suddenly realize that next to our wish for a child and moving to a new house, we have a lot on our plate. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all this attention and publicity.
My daily job as a journalist might cause that I feel this way a lot stronger than you do. Sometimes I am jealous that friends who are in similar situations get to have their first child without all this attention.

At the same time, I am really proud when I notice that there are people who get inspired by our story and find support in what we do. More and more often people ask us about what the options are if you want to have children, people who want to tell us their story or people who tell us about the same dreams and wishes they have as us. It fills me with pride. In the past I thought having children was the most normal thing in the world, but because of our journey and all the conversations we have had, I have come to the realization that having a baby is a miracle.

“Why would you want to go public, is this attention seeking?” or “I already feel sorry for this baby, they will have weird parents”. I can handle these kind of questions and comments less and less. I don’t have space for negative comments and we stopped reading online comments on articles. I have become more emotional and sharp since you have become pregnant as if I am a lion that wants to protect my family. I don’t want to get the feeling that I am a bad father even before Ravi has been born. Of course I sometimes have doubts about everything we do. Whether it is about the choice to marry, to have a child or to go public with our story. The choices we make are big, exciting and sometimes make me doubt. I know I sometimes hit the brake when there is another request for an interview. I also know that you experience being recognized in public more often. What is it like for you to be on this journey together and let the world watch through our column, documentary and social media?

Dear David,

Yes it is a whole job to document everything and send it out into the world. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have missed so much information and stories about and from trans people as a kid, teenager and young adult. I would have loved to have known as a kid that you can transition. I would have loved to have known as a teenager that you can fall in love with anyone. And I would have loved to have known as a searching young adult that you can become a parent with a family in all different kinds of ways. It feels like it is my duty to bring our story out and to inform other trans people and their loved ones about how you can form and live your life as a trans person.

I also can’t stand it when life gets hard and nothing beautiful comes out of it. If I can make sure it will be a little easier for the next trans person who then doesn’t have to go through the same battle as I have to through, then our pain has had a goal. The shit that we have gone through has grown flowers for the next person. I believe we are doing a great job at deciding when to look for publicity and what we do and don’t share with the world. And just like you, I can really enjoy the people who read our story and who find support in what we share. I think this positivity overpowers the negativity.