Watching my Son Become a Woman (Trying to Understand Transgender)

Tori--I rewrote this from earlier this year--it was posted as "Transgender (below) last spring . I took your suggestions into my edit--what do you think?  For Nov. 16 I am planning to read a series of Transgender poems--I worked on them all afternoon today. I'm getting pumped for this reading and it's a big step for me to tackle this topic and also series on the same topic. I may open with some lighter poem--but then I want to get into it. Your thoughts?

My son announced, “I have Gender Dysphoria”
discomfort, distress, disconnection, depression,
mismatched identity. He says “I am a woman,
I have discovered my truth, I am certain.
My mask is removed. There is no going back.”

I stare longingly at those sweet baby photos on the hall wall,
cropped blonde hair, striped shirts, little jeans.
The graduation photo in a suit and tie stares back at me
every time I go upstairs to bed.
Now, she says “Leave the photos up; I embrace my past.”

Then at the holidays, I tear up at the Christmas stocking
with my boy embroidered across the top.
And yet, I love her grown-out curly hair, like mine,
She makes a great redhead, with blush and lipstick,
She's grown soft skin, rounded features,

has a gentle touch, wears a simple pendant necklace,
with gold earrings and a pastel sweater.
She has unchanged blue eyes, but now with sparkle,
her usual sense of humor and mannerisms.
Is she the same, only different?

The first time I saw her in that brown pencil skirt,
I gasped but for a moment.
And noticed beasts rising
along with her female voice.
Did I ever think it could happen here, my family? My child?
But that dull depression is gone, she’s energetic, outgoing,

the wind blows stronger now, a happy breeze.
And in spite of what some relatives say,
I am certain no one has sinned.
This was not a choice. It’s who she is.
Welcome her. It’s still all about Love.