Through the eyes of a Mom

What happens when you realise that you were wrong? That the things you were taught growing up were actually preventing you from being there for those you love. That’s what happened to me when my daughter came out as trans seven years ago.

My whole world opened up. 

Coming from a very conservative and religious country, I’d never even heard the word transgender before. However, in the midst of my confusion, there was one thing I knew for sure: I wanted to learn and understand so I could be there for my daughter. 

Eventually, I came across Toronto Pflag, a group focused on supporting and educating 2SLGBTQ+ individuals and their families, and began attending their support groups. The first times I went, I couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed by emotion. Nevertheless, I kept attending. Of the people who came, I noticed a mom and her trans daughter who seemed to be so close that they looked like best friends. Seeing them have such a close bond filled me with hope, I yearned for such a connection with my daughter. 

As time passed, I’d joke that I was  “growing old” at the Pflag group. I was suddenly in a position to counsel new parents that joined, meaning I could start giving back the support  that I’d once received. This full-circle moment made me see the importance of community and education in fostering growth and acceptance.

Flash forward to the pandemic. Like many of us, my daughter lost her job and was looking for new opportunities. That’s when we noticed it: a lack of gender-affirming gear and wear providers in Canada. Anytime that my daughter needed gender gear, we’d have to order from abroad which brought all kinds of problems. Shipments that couldn’t be exchanged, not being able to try on items before purchasing, and things simply taking a long time to arrive. And so, after seeing this need for gender-affirming gear and wear in Canada, we decided to create urBasics.

Over the last 3 years, we’ve seen parents and kids come into urBasics to try on their first gender-affirming gear. The visits are often filled with hugs, smiles, tears, and giggles. One of my favourite parts of this journey has been connecting with other parents and caretakers of trans individuals, being able to see ourselves reflected in each other. 

Contributing to trans joy makes me extremely proud of the work we do. I can’t believe that urBasics has been a part of providing more than 20,000 gender-affirming experiences since 2021!

In the end, being the parent of a trans kid means having the will, the energy, and the passion to fight for the rights of our children. Seeing how the community has come together in response to politicians who continue to stigmatise and dehumanise trans people, my daughter and I feel even more inspired and committed to making gender-affirming gear accessible.

There is still a long way before we reach full acceptance of trans people in our society. But today, I feel much more solidified in my role as an advocate and as a mother - and I remain committed to contributing to a world where folks are not just accepted but are celebrated for being who they are.