Annapolis Family Photographer | Day in the Life of a Transgender Family | Amanda and Emily
So ya, we're gonna go a little outside of our little box here today. Broaden our collective horizons and make a big, ginormous, monumental discovery. And that discovery is that when it all comes down the the bare bones bottom of it all--we (pretty much everyone on this planet) all want the same things in our lives. Those things, in no particular order, are love, family, friendship, respect, understanding, compassion, and courtesy.
Amanda responded to a maternity model call I put out last spring. I was looking for families wanting to do a Maternity version of a Day in the Life Session in order to 'beef up' my portfolio. In her response, she mentioned that, "we are a transgender family so working together might be a good opportunity for both of us." Not for one second did I hesitate in considering them--families are families and it's my job as a family photojournalist to document them in all of their many variations. I sent them the usual questionnaires and I learned that they had a 2 1/2 year old son and were expecting their daughter near the end of the summer. Amanda's husband had come out to her the year prior. The only thing that made me nervous about doing this session, was that that these would be the first photos of Emily since she began her transition. And I wanted her to like them.
Thank you Amanda and Emily, for allowing me into your lives for the day. While working with you, I rediscovered my knowledge that love has no limits and is resilient beyond words.
I asked Amanda to write up a little intro for this blog post. These are her words:
In November 2014 my husband told me that while in therapy for work related stress he was diagnosed with gender identity disorder. What this meant and how we'd proceed with our lives was unclear. Would he cross dress just at home? Would he live part time as a woman and part time as a man? Would he make a full gender transition? And what would happen to us?
It took many months of soul searching, exploring, and grief to come to terms with the fact that my husband would make a complete gender transition and we would remain married. My only stipulation was our little family of three was not complete and it was important for me to have a second child "naturally" before beginning medical transition. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) makes you infertile, freezing and storing sperm for future use was an option, but not one I was interested in so we were suddenly facing the reality of having a second child before we thought we'd have one.
We began the transition process: telling all our friends and family, representing more and more feminine, her legal name change to Emily, electrolysis to remove her facial hair and started working on that baby.
We conceived our daughter in November 2015 and the day I was 12 weeks and 2 days pregnant Emily took her first dose of estrogen. The running joke with everyone was the amount of hormones in our house between her HRT and my pregnancy was pretty darn high and thank goodness our son who was almost 3, wouldn't remember this time in our lives.
During my pregnancy we threw ourselves in the spotlight, advocating for trans rights and sharing our story in hopes of inspiring other couples who want to stay married through a gender transition and creating more equality for people in the LGBT community. People looked at us as "fascinating", but really there is nothing fascinating about us. We are a transgender family, but at the end of the day there is nothing different about our family than any other American family; we have tea parties, we play with blocks, we walk our dog, and we play in our backyard.
Both ladies are open and vocal advocates for the transgender community. If you'd like more insight into their lives, they've shared thoughts and emotions in the following places: