by Maria Sofou
Tina Healy came out as transgender three and a half years ago, and now works as a disability support worker and an advocate for Gender Diversity Australia. You may have heard about Tina’s daughter, Jessica Walton, who after her mother’s transition decided to write a children’s book to reflect her family’s diversity and encourage other families who may think that they do not fit in social norms.
What you may not already know is that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation did a feature on Tina and her family in which she shared a heartbreakingly beautiful story : as Tina’s mother suffers from dementia, she has to come out to her everytime she sees her. Her response was not only beautiful the first time, but every time remains the same, moving and accepting. “My Mum has dementia and quite a few of my family were concerned about what would happen if I came out to Mum, whether she might be too stressed to handle it. And anyway, so when I eventually came out to Mum, I did it early in the morning and she listened. I kept it very simple. And she said – at the end of it, she said, “Well,” she said, “What do you know?” She said, “I’ve got a beautiful new daughter.” And she said, “Come here, love.” And I cried on her shoulder and Tess cried too and it was all wonderful… I go and see Mum every few weeks and she’s forgotten each time, and every time I tell her again, she gives me just the same beautiful reaction that she did exactly the same, almost word for word every time. I’m kind of the luckiest one of all because I get to come out to Mum 100 times a year, and every time, she’s beautiful.”
We are so moved by this story and we hope that it will inspire people all over the world that are going through a similar experience. The times they are a- changing!
Tina and her mom
Tina with her daughter, Jessica, and her grandchild
Illustrations from Jessica’s book, Introducing Teddy, that will be published soon