Lorna McGuire understands the true nature of parental love. Her amazing metaphorical poem, written as a sweet love letter to her darling transgender child, is a true testament to the transcendence of unconditional love. Here is a mother, who is not afraid to recognize that her child might be different, and with this symbolic poem, she endeavors in the best way she knows how, to let her little one know that she is loved for exactly who she is.
Paddy, a biologically male five-year-old, has always been interested in “feminine” things, but it wasn’t until she reached the age of five that she was finally able to express her discomfort with the gender assigned to her at birth. When Paddy anxiously began to talk to her mom about her confusing feelings, Lorna McGuire didn’t want her child to feel ostracized or like there was anything wrong with her, so she went right out and bought Paddy her first dress.
Mom describes the moment that Paddy first put on the dress as a “eureka” moment. She told a journalist from BuzzFeed, “As soon as she put on the dress, that’s when I knew…a lightbulb went on. As soon as she had the dress on and I saw her face, tears came down my eyes and I knew. Her face lit up. She was so happy. I’ve never seen her so happy in all my life.”
Lorna is determined to support Paddy through her confusing transition, so she wrote this poem about caterpillars and butterflies to symbolize the changes that Paddy was experiencing. She waited three more years before reading the poem to her daughter, because she wanted to be certain of her daughter’s feelings and to be sure that the little girl was ready to talk about the process. Click on the video below to watch this mother read her poem to an eight-year-old Paddy for the first time, and to see the two bond as Paddy articulates in her own words what she thinks the poem means.
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