For Trans Awareness Week, we are highlighting one trans individual’s journey into parenthood
In honor of Trans Parent Day, last week we celebrated the parents who love, support and affirm their trans children. Specifically, we highlighted the amazing parent plaintiffs fighting for trans youth rights in our cases in Montana, Texas and Tennessee.
Today, we continue the celebrations with a special Q&A with Thomas Cole, a transgender man who recently became a father for the very first time. A 33-year-old resident of the Bay Area, Thomas and his wife Sormeh welcomed their son, Nasim, into the world earlier this year.
In our brief chat, Thomas talks about his journey into parenthood and the beauty and challenges it has revealed thus far. He also shares some adorable family photos. Thomas says he and Sormeh are always thinking of new, silly ways to make Nasim laugh — and it appears all their hard work has paid off! In all three pictures, Nasim is expressive and full of smiles.
Check it out below.
Did you always want to be a parent? Why?
I had assumed growing up that I would be a parent simply because that’s what society led me to believe. As I grew older the idea of being a parent started to feel complicated in ways I didn’t fully understand, and it wasn’t until coming out as trans and transitioning at 27 that I began to understand those complications as not being able to see myself as a mother. Once the option of dad became clear, I really opened up and became excited about the potential of being a parent.
As a trans person, did you face any challenges in your journey to parenthood? If so, how did you navigate them?
There were challenges simply because my partner and I lack many of the reproductive privileges that many cis/het folks inherently have as givens. My partner and I had to plan very diligently, consult with lawyers, understand and access the process we felt most comfortable with and finance that process, and I had to navigate my attachments to having or not having a “biological” connection to my child. All these things were challenging in their own ways, but having to process those things together with my partner ultimately helped us become the prepared parents we are to our child.
How would you describe parenthood? Is it what you thought it would be?
Parenthood is, quite honestly, a constant riddle of contradictions — it keeps you being like, “yes…but.” 😅 It is at once everything and nothing like I thought it would be. It is at once the most constantly rewarding and most constantly difficult thing I have ever done. It is at once so slow and a complete and utter blur. My experience of parenthood has caused me to maintain presence and tenderness in myself to a depth I didn’t know I was capable of, and it has also spotlighted parts of my being and personality that are extremely challenging and limited. Parenthood doesn’t allow you to hide any piece of who you are, good or bad. Every aspect of life is altered by the experience of parenthood, and that alteration produces simultaneous gratitude for your growth and grief over ways you are no longer able to be. It’s complicated and messy, but so incredibly beautiful.
Do you have any advice for other trans individuals who are thinking of becoming parents? Or advice for parents of trans folks?
My advice to trans folks thinking of becoming parents is don’t doubt yourself. If it’s in your heart to become a parent, then you can and you will create that opportunity. We’re often told by a society that doesn’t support our existence that the “common,” “routine” stages of life aren’t for us and that is nothing but a stone cold lie. You deserve a full life. You deserve a family. You deserve love.
For more on Trans Parent Day, revisit our 2022 blog post, “For Parents of Trans Youth, Love is Clearly the Answer.” Stay tuned for additional Trans Awareness Month content on our blog as we continue to move through November.