I am known in Trans masculine groups as Malachi. In the real world I live with my wife and daughter in Colorado. My son is grown and in the Army. I was always a man but I had no idea I could do anything about that and I was raised by people whose interpretation of religion lead them to insisting I accept my circumstance.
As my son grew up I didn't even know the term trans and yet he would insist on male pronouns for me. He saw the real me despite the form I had and the identity those around us labeled me. He could tell by my character. He saw me as a father to him all the years of his childhood until he was old enough to consent to my adopting him without permission from our family, who don't accept us even being aunt and nephew, due to their opinion that LGBT is a contagious evil.
I have wanted to be a parent for as long as I can remember. I would imagine being the father of many children and husband to many wives. That was when I was ten. But I also knew already that the girls weren't interested in me. They were interested in my brother. So I worried even at that age that I may not be able to have children of my own. I have had a lot of heart break over the years due to building attachment to the children I co-parent and have no right to be around other than what their primary parent allows. And there have been times I was left and 'cold turkey' never see a child again that I helped raise for several years.
I didn't even realize I could medically transition until my thirties and wasn't able to begin that process for myself for eight more years. I had been fired for being trans at my first real job after the Army and was considering moving to another state to where I could get a job that had insurance that would cover at least top surgery. And at that time my friend told me she loved me and wanted a life with me. I had been staying with her and during that time her one year old had decided I was her primary caregiver. I simple couldn't be around the child and not put her needs first and care about her wellbeing and happiness. The little one is now nine and she only sees me as her dad.
Even though I looked entirely different when she was younger, she always saw me as the man I am. She thinks her grandmother, my mother, is just confused and unkind for using the wrong pronouns. The adoption finally went through a year ago and it was a great feeling of relief. My wife, like my other partners with kids, assures me she would never take my daughter from me but rights are better than promises.
Teaching and caring for and encouraging and providing for and listening to my kids is the most satisfying thing in my entire life. My relationship with these two amazing humans is the only thing in my life that brings me consistent joy and motivation even through the most difficult times. They have given me the most pure acceptance of anyone in my life. I feel like their happiness and success and wellbeing is the most important thing in the universe. I love being a parent.
I think giving a child that love and acceptance gives them strength to be true to themselves. I got that support from my own father, the only one in my family that was supportive. He is gone now and I miss him every day. He was not heterosexual and therefore banished from family. I am very glad I created the possibility of him being in my kids lives before he passed. I hope I can show my kids that same dependable love and support until I leave this world.