Mother’s Day 2017
I go by Kris now, I think you should remember who that is, and what that means. I’m not really sure anymore. You used to call me something a little bit different..
Anyway it’s been 352 days since we last spoke. (But who’s counting….?)
The last time we talked you called me something. It really hurt me. I didn’t trust you to never do it again.
You said “he”.
I know it doesn’t sound like much to you. But it means everything to me.
I understand that it’s hard for you, and that changing what you say (especially after a lifetime of saying it another way) is hard. Having the ability to govern your words, is something very few people have.
I forgave you.
Time and time again, I forgave you. You continued to hurt me, and I continued to let you hurt me.
Then you did something that hurt me far worse than a simple pronoun mix up.
You made me feel WRONG for being hurt.
That is what cut me to the core.
My entire life I lied. I lied to you, I lied to your husband, I lied to brothers, my school teachers, my friends, my partners, my bosses, my therapists, my doctors.
I even lied to myself.
I lied because I was raised to believe that my feelings were wrong.
I lied because I thought that the person inside of me, was wrong.
I lied because I believed telling anyone who I really was, was wrong.
You see mom, my entire life you have been telling me that I was wrong.
So the reason I quit speaking to you a year ago, isn’t because you mixed up a word. It’s because I am sick and tired of you telling me what I am doing is wrong. For once in my life I am here to tell you that you are wrong, and that you owe me apology.
I am a beautiful woman, and there is nothing wrong with asking someone to respect my life choices.
I am kind. I am an inspiration. My friends love me. My dogs love me. My wonderful partner loves me. I am successful, I am happy. I climb mountains, I do things before any one else. I jump in blind. I live my life without fear. I am proud of who I am. Those around me see that, and respect me for it.
I have no relatives left.
Every dime I have I made myself, and I did it with my entire family telling me I was wrong. The car I drive, I own it. The house I sleep in, I bought it. The shoes on my feet and the clothes (albeit tailored for a gender that disagrees with my original birth certificate) are my own.
When I go to sleep every night I have to tell myself that if I died tonight no one would be able to track me to you.
You don’t even know my name.
So this year for Mother’s day I wanted to get you a present. It’s not flowers, it’s not a new computer, I won’t pay your credit cards for you, it’s not even chocolate.
I wanted to give you the gift of a daughter, and the gift of a second chance.
So here goes..
My name is Kris Audrey Nova.
Kris to keep remnants of who I was in the past.
Audrey after the woman I idolized most growing up.
Nova after the only persona I ever was proud of. This is the name that holds every commit to open source software I have worked on. This is my greatest achievement. This is my pride.
This is my legal name, and what reads on my ID now. My legal gender is female.
My old name and gender are now legally gone forever.
I am a Senior Software Engineer for Microsoft. I finally made it! I am a real open source contributor! Remember when I used to talk about open source software when I was growing up, and how I always wanted to contribute? I have a lot of meaningful commits into some really popular open source tools. This is me on GitHub.
I have written a few tech articles, and some have been pretty popular. I am even authoring a book right now.
I am a respected contributor to my favorite programming language and will be giving a speech on some of my work this summer.
I have even written a few articles about being transgender in my field. So far I have had a few hundred people reach out to me and tell me how my story has helped them and their families at the end of the day. I really think I have been able to make the world a better place.
One was published today that should help fight the state of Texas from discriminating against people like me, the other was about my story on how open source software has been the only thing in my life that has accepted me for who I really am.
I am in love with a wonderful woman. She has been in my life for 1 year. Her name is Kjersti, and her and her family love me very much. We live with our three dogs (yes, Hank is still around) in Denver.
This is a picture of us from today. We spent a bit of time playing up on Mt. Bierstadt. We are hanging out at about 12,000 feet before the pitch to the final assent to the summit.
I sometimes wonder what it would be like if you ever met her. I wonder if you would be okay with having a lesbian for a daughter. Would you even call me your daughter? Would you even consider me a lesbian?
I wonder if you would care more about our sexuality, than you would about my happiness. Not knowing what would happen scares me, it makes me not what to share my life with you.
We want to have kids. In fact, we have all the necessary “parts” to make that happen. It scares me to think about raising kids by myself. But I would always make sure I love them for who they are, and that I never make them feel that something that brings them happiness isn’t okay. I think that would be a good place to start.
It would be nice to hear from you, and hear about what you have been doing with your life.
Partner, Loved one, Engineer, Scientist, Author, Mountaineer
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