A transgender man says his relationship with his two young sons has improved since identifying as male.
Adam Walker, 30, from Tennessee has been living openly as a transgender man since coming out in July, 2017 and is a father of two.
Adam admits it has been difficult for his eldest son James, ten, to understand because he remembers his mother, as opposed to Lincoln who was one when he started to transition.
The surgical technologist has had ‘top surgery’ which is a procedure to create a male-contoured chest, specifically, a double mastectomy with nipple grafts.
Adam Walker, 30, from Tennessee has been living openly as a transgender man since coming out in July, 2017 and is a father of two (pictured with his son Lincoln, who was one when he started transitioning)
Adam, pictured now with his son James, ten, who initially struggled to accept his father’s new identity after he came out
Adam said: ‘I remember telling James, then seven, that I was going to be a boy.
‘He said, “No you’re not. You don’t have a penis”.
‘I didn’t go into a lot of detail because of his age. Lincoln, then one, was way too young to understand.
‘It took over two years for both of the boys to call me “Dad,” I kept correcting them from November 2017 until February 2020.
Adam underwent top surgery – a double mastectomy with nipple graft – in order to get closer to being his true self
Adam said the only thing he liked about his life prior to his transition were his two pregnancies. Pictured: Pregnant with his younger son Lincoln before transitioning
‘Then suddenly Lincoln started saying “Daddy” and James copied – after a couple weeks of reinforcement, I was Daddy to him too..
‘I hated it when they called me “Mom”. It was so awkward because people used to stare.
‘I am a happier person now and in that respect it has improved my relationship with the boys.
‘Lincoln and I have a great relationship. I’m all he has really, so he’s attached to me big time.
The father-of-two said his relationship with his two sons has improved tremendously since his transition
Adam pictured recovering from his double mastectomy. Adam, who was disowned by his family, said he was happier than ever
Adam (pictured prior to his transition) said he wants his boys to know about the different genders, sexuality and acceptance
‘I think me deciding to transition put a strain on my relationship with James, but I think he’d agree that he’d rather have a happy dad than a dead mom.
‘Living a lie is not worth living and I hope this teaches my boys that. I also reinforce that I will love them and be here for them no matter what they tell me.
‘I encourage both boys to be whoever they want to be.
‘I grew up so isolated and I want my boys to know different genders, sexuality, and most of all acceptance.
‘I am still a human being with feelings and I’m just trying to raise my boys right!’
Adam with James during his pregnancy with Lincoln. The father-of-two explained he came out as a lesbian before realising he was a man
Adam said he used to despise everything ‘girly’ in his past life. He also felt ‘gross’ as female and realised he was transgender thanks to a lesbian relationship (pictured during pregnancy with Lincoln)
Adam recalls despising everything ‘girly’ but adored being pregnant.
He grew up in a strict religious family and homosexuality was taught to be a sin – Adam felt ashamed of his desire to be a male but was unable to speak out.
He felt ‘gross’ as a female but says being in a lesbian relationship made him realise he is transgender.
He started wearing male clothing and boxers in 2016 which is when his journey truly began.
Adam adds: ‘I distinctly remember around the age of seven, I wanted to stand to pee so bad that I took a funnel and used that.
Adam as a child. He explained he had unconsciously wanted to be a man for all his life, but started his transition journey in 2017
James and Adam at school. The father-of-two recalled his son, then seven, struggled to understand his new identity
‘I hated dresses, long hair, and anything girly really.
‘I had the shirtless poster of Usher on my bedroom walls as a kid, but I idolised his body.
‘Despite having relationships with men before, I was never attracted to men, which is when I began to feel like something was wrong with me.
‘After splitting with my ex-husband, who is James’s father, and having a one night stand which led to a pregnancy. I came out as lesbian even though I had never been with a woman before.
The boys at school! Adam explained that even though he had been with men – which resulted in his two pregnancies – he had never felt attracted to men
Adam before his transition when he was 16. Even though Adam explained he trully felt attracted to women, he did not ‘feel like a lesbian’
‘I knew my attraction to women was true but I didn’t actually feel like a lesbian. I wanted a penis more than anything.
‘I had a whirlwind relationship with a woman for three months and it felt right.
‘She brought up the idea of me being a male and I didn’t immediately dismiss it, but said that I would never transition because of the boys.
‘She asked what my name would be and I just blurted out Adam.
Adam’s body before his top surgery. The father-of-two began taking hormones in 2017 after starting to wear boxers and male clothing the year before
Adam said he felt much better after undergoing the double mastectomy. The father hails from a conservative town and lost friends and family due to his transition
‘A few months later in July 2017, I began taking testosterone.’
Adam has since lost friends and family members since coming out but insists he is happier.
He said: ‘I was forced to tell my colleagues as my voice was changing and I couldn’t say I was sick for much longer.
‘I live in a small conservative town so I was the first trans person they knew of.
‘It was hard for my co-workers, whom known me for six plus years, to start calling me Adam and use the he pronouns. I didn’t even answer to Adam for the longest time.
Adam and James together now. Adam said he felt he was being a better role model to his children
What is gender affirming surgery?
Gender Affirming Surgery (GAS), also known as Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) refers to the surgical procedure transgender people undertake to modify their appearance in order to suit the gender they identify with.
GAS is a form of treatment to Gender Dysphoria, a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there’s a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.
Adults aged 17 and over can consent to going through these surgeries after undergoing therapy and living in their preferred gender for a year prior to the procedures.
Several procedures exist for both transgender men and women, as well as hormone therapy.
Masculinization surgeries may include:
– a bilateral mastectomy (removal of both breasts)
– a hysterectomy (removal of the womb)
– a salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries)
– phalloplasty or metoidioplasty (construction of a penis)
– scrotoplasty (construction of a scrotum)
– and testicular implants a penile implant
For trans women, surgery may involve:
– an orchidectomy (removal of the testes)
– a penectomy (removal of the penis)
– vaginoplasty (construction of a vagina)
– vulvoplasty (construction of the vulva)
– clitoroplasty (construction of a clitoris with sensation)
– breast implants facial feminization surgery (surgery to make your face a more feminine shape)
‘It has been a tough path but I wouldn’t change a thing. My family have disowned me, but I didn’t choose this life.
‘I have embraced it and come to the conclusion that God made me this way for a reason.
‘No trans person wakes up and thinks, “I would really like to inject myself every week with hormones and have surgery to have the outside match with what I see on the inside”.
‘I honestly love being able to take my shirt off outside and be comfortable. Yes I have scars, but I really don’t care.
‘I am a better role model to my children now that I am finally me.’