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A Mother’s Take: Light in the Presence of Darkness

By May 24, 2024June 14th, 2024No Comments

Marsha Aizumi

Tonight, I was stopped in the hall of my condominium complex by a neighbor. We do not know each other well, but we say hello when we see each other on walks and when we meet around the complex. He and his wife are warm and kind individuals, and it is so nice that I am surrounded by people like them where I live.

When my neighbor stopped me, he said, “I have been wanting to tell you something. I have a cousin that has a transgender son. He recently graduated, and when he got his diploma, he got a standing ovation.” I felt a lump form in my throat as I saw the picture of this transgender graduate looking out in the audience as he walked across the stage and saw his classmates standing up and cheering for him.

Today, I also Facetimed with a transgender person whose mother is not very supportive of him.

He and I have a special relationship.

I have told him that I can be his mom and if he ever needs someone to talk with or support him — he can always come to me. His smile was all I needed to know that my words touched him deeply.

With all that is going on with the world, especially having to do with taking away rights from women, parents and our LGBTQ+ community, it makes me both angry and sad. But I choose not to stay in this place because I know I will attract more of the same. Instead, I want to live in hope, so heartwarming moments, like my conversation with my neighbor, my Facetime call with my transgender friend and the news about the changes in the United Methodist church fills me with optimism and does not go unnoticed.

This month, Aiden and I are booked to share our story with the Yucaipa Unified School District because their schools want to learn how to respect students who are transgender.

This week, I am also walking the runway with Aiden at a fashion show for Equality Fashion Week. They want to showcase a mother who loves her trans son and see a transgender son who is thriving in his career and in the community because he is loved.

And in June, my son and I will be speaking at the Monterey Park Library to celebrate Pride Month. I have included the flyer in case anyone would like to come and celebrate with us.

I write my column to remind myself and all who read my articles that being visible can connect you with people in ways you may not imagine, bring new and fun experiences into your life and give you opportunities to share stories that can touch a few hearts. Being visible can lift you up, fill your heart and do the same for others.

Let us all be changemakers for a better more loving world.

Marsha Aizumi is an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and author of the book “Two Spirits, One Heart: A Mother, Her Transgender Son and Their Journey to Love and Acceptance.”