Katherine Newell Okojie
being transgender is a gift from god
When I met my daughter, Otis, in 2020 she identified as a pokemon-loving, tree-climbing, just beginning to read five year old boy. Online Kindergarten didn’t provide her with much social/emotional engagement with her peers, but by the time first grade rolled around, she was using they/them pronouns and identifying as nonbinary. I have several friends and a family member who use this term to describe their gender, or lack thereof, so it didn’t phase me much. Throughout my life I have gravitated towards queer friends who became my family, so having a queer kiddo was a gift I was grateful for.
Last summer, after a gifted and talented camp, Otis (at this point aged seven) proclaimed to her dad and I that she is a girl and uses she/her pronouns. I know that many parents have historically reacted to this news with disdain and division, but that was far from my experience. Tears cascaded down my cheeks with wonder and pride. I asked her if that meant she was now our daughter. Otis confirmed with a joyful, “yes!”
I know this memory belongs to Otis, but I can’t speak to her experience. What I know is that in a moment my dream came true. I always knew I’d be a mom to a daughter. In an instant her dream fulfilled my dream, too. The alignment in her body, spirit, and in our family has felt like waves of goodness saturating our souls. Gender is a spectrum and a social construct, so I don’t want to place all the emphasis on femininity in the classical sense, but it has been a journey of coming home watching our daughter transition into the spunky, powerful, brilliant, and courageous girl she is.
As a spiritual leader, there was no contradiction in my faith, as I am interspiritual and have made it a point to manifest rituals with open-hearted folks. It is a sacred path that I believe some of humanity’s greatest teachers are on. There is nothing wrong or out of alignment with being trans– in fact, it’s a sojourn specifically tuned towards re-alignment that encourages us all to reclaim our sovereignty, if we’re open to witnessing the magic of true transformation.
Being transgender is a gift from god.
Watching my daughter figure out her style, her voice, her calling has been one of the greatest joys of my life. There is nothing difficult or sinful about being trans– it’s the attacks from the rest of the world that we are on high alert for. The misgendering by family, teachers, and students, the lawmakers who are currently attempting to exterminate transgender Americans, and the constant fear we live in being parents of a Black trans girl, one of the largest groups targeted for hate crimes.
I say all of this because you ought to know how blissfully happy my family is, and how fiercely I will protect this amazing little girl. She deserves a fabulous life with a name change (she’s in the process of choosing one), curiosity, and love for and from her community. She deserves to be treated like every other kid who is discovering themselves and manifesting their way in this world.
Acknowledging all the opportunities and joy I hope to continue to shower her with brings up much resentment that I need to protect my child from over half the states in our nation and many haters using their faith to further cruelty. I am exhausted carrying around this anger (and a side of fear.) As a ritual crafter and mom, I know a space is needed to alchemize the constant barrage of bullshit trans folx are receiving.
To do a snippet of my part to transform this unfair reality, my colleague in magic, Sidney Shaw, and I are joining together to unleash the rage that is stirring within us. We invite you to join us for another Rage Ritual: Trans Power. In person and online we will go deep with you as the layers of oppression slough off (even momentarily) and your soul finds respite. Since this wave of transphobia is especially targeted at trans youth, we are offering an all ages ritual. Please consider joining me, Sidney, and my daughter, Otis, to activate and relinquish our rage.
And thank you for listening to a smidgen of our story. It is an honor to love and be loved by someone trans.