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A Thank-You Note to My Son

A Thank-You Note to My Son

A white correspondence card with a handwritten Thank you! on it, halfway out of a red envelope

Dear Floyd,

I loved spending the weekend with you at Alfred University. Your freshman year is off to a stellar start!

Your dad and I could not be prouder of you as you continue your journey to becoming a responsible adult. I’d like to tell you some of the reasons I am so proud of you and your adjustment to life off at college.

We have always been a “different kind of family.” You never had any issues adjusting to a world that may have looked at you sideways as you had two dads. You were always kind, polite, and more interested in changing the world than in fighting change. When you told us you were transgender, I was brought back to the time in the 1970s when I was your age and told my parents I was gay. They were frightened that I would be cast aside by friends and family, unable to have a happy life or to become a parent. I helped prove to them that my life was just beginning – and that happiness would certainly come my way.

But you have taken that story to another level.

You came into our lives and taught us how to become loving parents, strong allies of the disadvantaged, and open to any possibility you brought home – even when you told us you were transgender. We supported you by taking you to therapists and doctors to guide you, and you supported us with your words of encouragement, worrying more about us than yourself, and allowing us to walk with you on this often difficult journey.

Of course you were blessed with an open loving congregation, kind and caring friends, and Keshet, the national organization that works for LGBTQ equality in all facets of Jewish life. Your involvement with Keshet and your openness to help everyone in the trans community who comes to you for advice and support makes me proud of you every day.

Now you are becoming an adult; while you still hug us and love us unconditionally, as your parent, I must thank you and tell you you are an inspiration to any parent blessed to have a son like you. We are proud of the person you are becoming, and we’re proud of your artistic talent as you create pieces that chronicle your own story of becoming the person you need to be.

Floyd, thank you for being an amazing person, one committed to making the world a better place, and someone I will always love unconditionally.

With love and admiration,

Papa

Rabbi Peter Kessler is the senior rabbi at Temple Ohev Sholom in Harrisburg, PA.

Rabbi Peter Kessler
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