What Does It Mean to Be A Stepdad?

It means a lot; It’s one of the greatest gifts of all



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In the past five or six years, my desire to be a father has grown immensely.

When I was younger, before I realized I was trans, the thought of having kids was appalling. I didn’t want to carry a child. I refused to be a mother. Since my chronic illness is hereditary, I carried it around in my back pocket as a useful excuse. I didn’t want a child to have to go through what I did, but the other reasons were first in my mind.

After I realized I was trans, I also realized I wanted a wife and family. I had no idea how it would happen since biologically I can’t impregnate a woman. I also struggled with the idea of someone actually falling in love with me due to my illnesses and being trans.

If someone had told me I’d follow in my stepdad’s footsteps and become a stepdad myself, I don’t know if I would have believed them. Life is funny that way. I find myself thinking of him often and remembering what he did in certain situations.

I remember him tucking me in at night. I remember us falling asleep on the couch to ESPN and playing cards on the floor. I remember him walking me to the bus stop early in the morning and waiting for me to get off the bus in the afternoon. Kids would ask me if that was my dad, and I’d nod with a wide smile.

He was a drug dealer, but I didn’t know that at the time. I didn’t learn about that until after my mom passed away. All I knew was that he went to jail while I was in Kindergarten and got out during the middle of my sixth-grade year. In prison, he got a tattoo of my initials on his neck. I got to see him one more time before I moved to Michigan. I have no idea where he is now. I wish I could tell him I have kids of my own now. I wish I could tell him my name is Brian and I’m a man now — and that he unknowingly taught me how to love a woman and children.

The first time my daughter called me dad, I was petrified.

Am I ready to be a dad? Do I know how to be a dad? The pride that swelled in my chest couldn’t be contained, despite the terror. I wasn’t a stepdad to one kid, but three. We don’t…




"My pen isn't afraid to speak the truth" - Marsha Ambrosius