Jake's mother, Peggy, is supportive of her son but says it's still hard to say goodbye to the daughter she's always known. "There's a lot about this process that involves a lot of loss and it takes time to sort of grieve that," she says. "It's not like losing a child, but it's losing a dream."
Peggy says she was thrilled when she found out her first child would be a girl. "I had all these ideas of how we would do the girly things together as she got older and I would dress her in the pink ribbons and the pink clothes and the pink bows," she says. "Just being able to talk about the really intimate parts of growing up and being female…that's what I was looking forward to at that time."
Peggy says she and her husband always knew Julia was a tomboy. When Julia told them she was a lesbian, her parents accepted it right away. "Being lesbian was not a big issue," Peggy says. "It was like, healthy kid—that's what we really cared about. But then, when Jake began to discover that he was transgender and not lesbian, that was more of a difficult issue to deal with."
Still, the small, close-knit family remained open-minded. "I accepted the fact of whatever he was going to be. However, I was really sad and scared for what the world had to offer out there," Peggy says. "[Family] is all we have, and we have to make the most of everything."