Growing with Dad


When I was young and laying in my bunkbed with my sister my dad would always tell us a story. She would ask for three things, like a bear, a table in Australia. Then she would weave a tapestry of a story around these three things. We loved it. 

Every once in a while she would tell us that we loved her now but soon we would grow up and think she was no fun anymore and we would be teenagers. I remember swearing I would not be a teenager and would always love her. 

Of course I did become a teenager, but I didn’t stop loving her. In fact I was unique at school because I liked my parents. I even came to them on relationship advice and any growing up weirdness.

I still go to my parents for advice. Once Andrew and I talk through something a lot of times we go to my parents to get their intake.


Recently Andrew & I went to Seattle for PodCon and there they had a scavenger hunt. The idea is to go around and do things to earn stickers which gets you into drawings. One thing was to record what you are most proud of. I said my dad, how proud I am that she has come out and that she is actively helping the LGBTQIA community. I also told my idols the Smirl sisters (who run the podcast Still Buffering, check it out) and they were very impressed. 

More than being a very impressive person that I am proud of, my dad is closer to my best friend than a dad. She is my go to for many problems. Being bi-polar has been a hard thing for my family, especially in the early years. My dad was one of the only ones (and the only one for a while) that could talk me down off the edge. 


She always says she will stop everything to help me. Drive me to the hospital, go to therapy with me or simply getting our nails done. She says I am the most important thing always. I even have a special ring tone so she doesn’t ignore me. 

In short she is my support system, my role model and my friend. So to my past Dad, yes I will grow up but no I will never stop loving you. 

Congratulations Mom and Dad

Three, two, one…

I count down my dad and she begins her speech in the back of the car. Mom and I listen to her, analyzing every turn of phase and every hesitation. She stops and we change of few things. She’s not nervous she just wants it to be the best it can be. We’re on our way to the Black Tie Dinner, a gala for LGBT in Dallas. 



I’ve done my parents makeup and when we get there I touch it up. We’ve shopped for gowns and got mom into a shoe store (no easy feat). We’ve been preparing for week. Andrew even got a tux.

We sit down at the dinner close to the stage. Soon someone comes and takes dad away and my mom gets so nervous. She’s on the edge of her seat and then they start the video. Dad is up in full color on eight giant screens. Then she walks on to a huge standing ovation. I can tell its the roar of the crowd that stagers her back and finally she just has to start her speech despite the noise. 

The best part of all this, the well deserved love, the event, the charities that get over a million dollars in funds. The best part is my mom holding onto my dad when she comes back to her seat. She holds her arm and snuggles in close, smiling ear to ear.


As a daughter it all breaks down to that. My mom is proud of my dad and is willing to go through all these hoops just to support her. She follows her around after the dinner and says over and over again how proud she is of Jess to all the people coming up to them. They both hold their shoes and talk to the lines of people wanting to congratulate dad.

My mom is the sweetest most loving wife and since dad has been honored I want to honor mom. The supporter of the century. 

Big mistake. Huge!

One of my favorite things to do is to shop with my dad. We have similar tastes and sometimes shop for the same events. 


One of the most strange things about shopping with my dad is that no ‘Pretty Woman’ shaming has acured. It isn’t that I really want people to be rude to us, I just think it would be cool to have the moment when we can come back in all our gorgeous glory and say were not shopping here. Now my dad is out full time we could have come back to someone now and say Big Mistake. Big. Huge!

However before my dad made headlines we shopped for dresses and shoes and whatever we wanted because people are just not assholes. I am sure some are, but for the most part people treat my dad with respect. We walk into the malls and women come over and start us a dressing room. They fetch us a new size. They recommend a different color.  

Not only that but when we go shopping we get the first class treatment. People love dad. They talk to her more, bend over backwards and are happy if she is happy and always always remember us. 

A lot of that has to do with the fact that she is so nice. She is so open about being trans if people are shy, she will make a little joke about it and suddenly they are no longer shy. She is appreciative and generally has the look of a little girl who gets to play in a toy shop. The sensation of being a woman now has not worn off to a normal occurrence. On the contrary she will suddenly stop and ask me “Isn’t this cool?”. When you feel like that everyone feels it too. She radiates contentment with life and clearly loves the perks of being a woman. How can you not love that?


Driving Ms. Jess

My family loves travel. Personally I have become the tag-along when anyone has a trip. I want to go somewhere, anywhere. Now that dad has speaking engagements and Panel discussions I have more excuses to pack a bag and go. 



My favorite was the trip to Washington D.C.; we went to meet congress members and to support other transgender advocates in an organized attempt to let our elected officials see us and really get to know us as people and not as an idea. 


We flew there and as I may have mentioned we always get there early. When we landed we take an Uber to an apartment we rented. Dad’s documentary crew, which consisted of Maisie was their too. She is following us around in order to work on her documentary on Dad and her fight for transgender rights.

We had an early dinner appointment to get ready for so dad and I had to fight over a mirror. I am a self proclaimed makeup junkie and had brought a huge case of the amazing stuff. Getting ready with Jess is one of my most favorite changes about her transformation. Before she would stand by the door as I threw makeup into the air and walked under it, praying that it looked ok. Now we can spend an hour asking each other about colors and technique. Similarly when we stop for coffee, and we always do, we both have to retouch are lipstick. 

It’s small but it makes me feel more connected to her. When we went around to different officials offices she would stop and have me fix her hair and her makeup. Honestly it made me feel more needed.

My dad is very self sufficient and doesn’t usually need help with anything. In fact she plays a sort of therapy role for me and my life. But on trips we work together and need the same things so much so that I feel we need each other more. 

Recently we went to Lubbock for a screening of TransPose (go see it) and dad sat on the Panel. They asked her how supportive her family was and she pointed to me in the audience, I was so proud. 

Traveling with dad is like traveling with a best friend. We both get excited to go swimming in hotels and like the same podcasts in the car. We have the same goals and the same friends in the trans world. Although she has always been a wonderful dad, our friendship has changed through the driving and flying and staying in hotels.

Suddenly its my friend who gets me and a friend I am honored to have.

Traveling buddies hitting the road.


Things you might not know about Jess

  1. She speaks some German, enough to get by in Germany.  Her grandmother spoke fluent German. 

  2. She can’t spell worth a flip

  3. Traveling with her is like being on 'The Amazing Race', because of this we are always early, for everything.

  4. She doesn’t wear foundation, just sunscreen and powder. She has good skin.

  5. She will always talk to a stranger and will have long conversations with people in stores and restaurants.

  6. She won’t leave the house without red lipstick and red nails.

  7. She can’t go very long without calling my mom and telling her everything that has happened to her so far that day.

  8. She doesn’t know what ‘on fleek’ means.

  9. She is optimistic to a fault.

  10. She gets so overwhelmed by any support, especially about Jess, that she can’t help but cry.

  11. She can’t say no to fans, even if it is an inconvenience.

  12. She loves swimming pools and hot tubs like a child does. 

  13. TV is very important to her and it is important that everyone knows about her shows.

  14. Recently learned what slay means. 

  15. She has at least seven Bikes. She’s in love with them. 

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