Alyssa, Scott and Jessica

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For the past few years, Denise and Fran's three children, Alyssa, Scott and Jessica, have watched their father slowly become a woman.

Jessica, the oldest, says she was the first to find out about her dad's decision to transition. "We had prom coming up, and I needed somewhere to get my nails done. Denise mentioned something to me, 'Oh, I know where you should go.' And I was like, 'What?'" Jessica says. "It kind of threw me for a minute. Afterwards, she sat me down and explained to me that she was transgender."

After Denise explained the situation to Scott, her only son, Scott says his first thoughts were of his family. "My fear was that [my parents] were going to break up," he says. "She's still my dad. We still do the same things. I like seeing her as happy as she is. I love it."

Alyssa, the youngest, had the most trouble accepting her father's transformation. "I miss my daddy," she says. "I was daddy's little girl. ... I felt really betrayed. I felt like she lied to me for 15 years of my life." Over time, Alyssa says she's realized that her father, who she calls "D" in public, has always loved her and never meant to hurt her.

Denise says, no matter what, she'll always be a father to her children. "I love my kids no matter how I am," she says. "My love for all of them has never changed. As I said, I had my Halloween costume on. I've taken it off, but nothing else has changed."
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FROM: Transgender Families
Published on October 12, 2007

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