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I’m A Trans Woman And This Is Why My Kids Still Call Me ‘Dad’


The following was syndicated from Quora for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at

For transgender people who come out after their kids have grown up a bit, is it transphobic for their children to still refer to them by the epithet they originally used (mom/dad)?

No one outside the family involved really needs to weigh in here.

Mine is one such family. My sons were 9 and 14 when I came out to them. I had been their dad for their whole lives. That was my role in their lives. I provided sperm at the conceptions, not eggs.

I was there at their births. I was a supporting player, but the mom and the babies are the stars. My sons’ mom earned the title Mom. I didn’t.

When I came out to them, I gave my kids some choices about how they could refer to me. They chose to call me “Dad,” because that’s my name to them. And, that is the role I signed up to play in their lives.

In their world, Dad is a woman.

On Mother’s Day, if someone asks how many mothers are in the room, I will usually raise my hand. I am a female parent, after all. But, the rubber hits the road on Father’s Day. I might dabble in being a mom, but I am a dad. I will be my kids’ dad until the day I die.

My sons’ mom earned the title Mom. I didn’t.

And when/if my kids give me grandchildren, I will be Grandma Katie. My paternal grandmother wanted to be called Katie, but the family insisted that she was a Katherine. When I took Grandma’s name as my own, I took the form of her name that she wanted. If nothing else, I can be the Grandma Katie Holton she wanted to be.

Other children of trans parents might choose differently.

On the other hand, “Grandma Daddy” might be fun.

Katie Anne Holton is a polyamorous transsexual lesbian whose kids still call her “Dad.” Read more from Quora below: