As Father's Day approaches, it would be churlish in the extreme if I were to expect the usual pint of beer/golf clubs/football/ rugby ball (*delete as applicable) type card. After all, my boys are wondering what the hell to call me, let alone go out and purchase a card. Even if I am still very happy to be "Dad"- although loud, slightly drunken use of the "D"word can cause a stir in a crowded pub, as I found out a few months ago.
That said, I am a Father, it's an indisputable biological fact, even by those who seek to airbrush my parental role from history, and I would not change one moment of the wonderful times I have spent with my Boys over the years. It's a milestone day too because it reminds me of the torment and confusion I have caused them in announcing my pressing need to begin my transition, as I did a year or so ago. This one then, is filled with memories for me, of the person I was, and the person I still am. I just hope and pray that I can demonstrate that in the future- very much like any proud Dad.
Irrespective of the rampant commerciality surrounding everything from Mothers Day to Halloween (for some Mothers I can think of, that's an all too short journey), Fathers Day is a worthwhile one, as Dads generally get a raw deal in the celebratory calendar. I can therefore raise a toast to my own Dad, who has been nothing short of a revelation in his acceptance and understanding, giving our previously stilted relationship a new lease of life.
For us parents who are transforming our lives, today can be a difficult one. It is, after all, another label to deal with, but it's one I am proud to wear. I feel particularly for those living their lives in stealth, for whom any public outpouring of love for their children would be giving away a secret. I understand how some people feel a desperate need to disguise where they came from. It is just that I could never deny any aspect of my previous life- and why should I?
There are also many Dads who, while not undergoing any form of gender reassignment, are, for varying reasons, separated from their children today. My thought are with you too, Gentlemen. Pain is pain, no matter what the root cause. As a slight aside, and talking of causes, the last away game of the season for many football fans now seems to resemble a Fathers 4 Justice rally.
Finally, I cannot believe that such an obvious and previously untapped commercial opportunity has passed by unnoticed, ( although I will stand corrected). I would therefore just like to wish every Dad in my position, a very happy Trans Parent Day. The theme tune, which is indelibly etched in my subconscious from 25 years ago, ( with absolutely no apologies to the trans- robotty things) could be "Trans Parents, Fathers in Disguise".