This month Aiden and I were asked to be guest speakers at the Asian Pacific Islander Equality LA meeting. As usual, I spent a few days writing out a speech and practicing it . . . preparation makes me more comfortable. And as usual Aiden showed up ready to "wing" it. Sigh . . . .I wish I had that talent! My husband, who is my greatest supporter, offered to take me to the meeting. Thrilled, I saw two benefits . . . I wouldn't have to maneuver the dark streets of LA alone at night and Tad could see Aiden speak. What I didn't anticipate was how the evening unfolded.
After dinner and updates, Aiden and I began our speeches. I turned to my husband and invited him to chime in with any thoughts. He smiled, nodded his head up and down, but I knew he would probably not say a word. Twenty minutes later, speeches over, the floor opened up for questions. Unexpectedly, one member directed a question to both my husband and I regarding our feelings about Aiden's transition. I don't recall a word I said, because Tad's words became all that I remember. In a voice which quivered with emotion he spoke his feelings, "I loved my daughter so much . . . . .but I love my son even more. And I am so proud of my son." My eyes filled with tears and my heart felt as if it would burst open with love. Aiden's father, reserved and ever so private, publicly shared his love and admiration for his son in front of twenty-five people he barely knew. In spite of the challenging times our family has faced, moments such as this have become a symbol of the extraordinary love that has defined our journey.