A B.C. man who transitioned to a woman doesn’t want her children to call her "Dad" or "Daddy" anymore.
The person, identified in a court ruling as S.P., prefers that her three young daughters call her "Momma" instead.
S.P. is not about to get her wish immediately.
S.P. and the girls’ mother, identified as C.P., were ordered by a judge to retain a psychologist with experience in transgender issues.
The psychologist is to prepare recommendations to the court on a number of issues, like the appropriate parenting arrangement.
The psychologist will also render an opinion about how S.P. will be referred to.
“She has made it clear to the children that she wishes to be referred to as ‘Momma’ and not by a name that reflects a different gender,” B.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Walker wrote in his reasons for decision that settled a number of things related to the breakdown of the marriage.
As Walker recalled, the marriage failed when the man transitioned to a woman.
“S.P. testified that she did not want the marriage to end and hoped that she and C.P. could live together as a same sex couple,” Walker related. “Ultimately, she realized it was too much for C.P.”
Their daughters are currently aged 12, nine, and six.
According to Walker, he is “satisfied that both parents love their children very much and believe they are acting in their best interests”.
Walker noted that the two parties do not agree on how C.P. should refer to S.P., “both pre and post-gender transition”.
“S.P. wishes to be referred to in the female gender post-transition and points to an interim order issued to that effect,” according to Walker. “Insofar as the children are concerned and C.P.’s discussions with them, S.P. wishes to be referred to as ‘Momma’.”
Moreover, S.P. wishes to be referred to in the female gender in her pretransition life “on the basis that it has always been her gender but she was born with a defect.”
“However, she made it clear that she is not rigid in her approach,” Walker related. “For example, if the children ask questions about her prior to the transition and refer to her in the male gender or as ‘Dad’ or ‘Daddy’, she does not object to C.P. using those words so long as she directs the children to refer to S.P. in the female gender.”
The girls’ mother has a different position.
“C.P.’s position is that she does not wish to be told how to refer to S.P. She does not agree to refer to S.P. as ‘Momma’ when speaking with the children because she says the reference is ‘juvenile’,” Walker wrote. “At the same time, she does not dissuade the children from referring to her as ‘Mommy’.”
Also, C.P. is “not prepared to be told how to refer to S.P. pre-transition”.
The couple also does not agree about some aspects of their previous relationship.
“S.P. testified that she told C.P. prior to proposing marriage that she had believed she was a female for as long as she could remember,” Walker wrote. “She gave C.P. the opportunity to decline marriage before proposing. S.P. tendered slide images taken by C.P. of S.P. dressing in women’s clothing during their marriage and of a life goal’s checklist suggesting S.P.’s desire to dress as a woman.”
However, C.P. “denies ever being aware of S.P.’s feelings and says she was shocked upon learning in the latter stages of their marriage that S.P. wanted to transition”.
“She concedes that she understood S.P.’s interest to dress as a woman but denies knowing that S.P. always viewed herself as a woman,” Walker wrote. “C.P. says she was depressed as a result of what she described as ‘losing my husband’ and took anti-depressants after consulting with a psychiatrist.”