When you look into the origins of ‘Mother’s Day,’ you’ll find that Anna Jarvis wanted to honour her mother, Ann Reese Jarvis, who was a peace activist. She considered a mother to be “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”
Now, may I ask you a question?
What is your definition of the word “mother”? Some may define a mother as someone who has given birth to a child or has sacrificed herself to provide love and compassion to others. Yes, it is valid.
However, why is there a gender distinction when addressing a mother or celebrating Mother’s Day? Is it necessary that only a female be given the honour of being called a mother and celebrated on this day?
I personally believe that regardless of age or gender, if you have a genuine heart and motherly feelings to give someone the unconditional love they require, you, too, are a ‘mother.’
On that note, I had the pleasure of speaking with Laeticia Raveena, a beautiful human being on the inside and out. It was an honour to speak to her because she was so friendly and warm to be spoken to.
Motherhood Through the eyes of a ‘transwoman’
Malaysian transwoman Laeticia Raveena was crowned Miss Transsexual International 2017 in Australia. She is also a pastry chef and owns Maison De Poupées, an online cake shop.
Varnam: From your point of view, who is a ‘mother’?
Laeticia Raveena: It’s a difficult question to answer, but a mother, from my understanding, is someone who nurtures. So they may nurture in a variety of ways, such as feeding, caring, or educating, or even by supporting. Mother is a nurturing woman, regardless of age, and even if they do not have children, they are mothers too. It’s all about having motherly instincts.
Varnam: Along the way in your life, have you ever had someone else experience motherhood through you?
Laeticia Raveena: I adore animals, particularly dogs, and I’ve always had dogs in my life. They are, without a doubt, my children. So my first experience would have been when my first female dog became pregnant. I told myself that I needed to make certain that I knew what I was doing. Before my dog gave birth, I went online and prepared myself.
Following that, I assisted all of my other female dogs during their deliveries, so technically, I consider myself to be their ‘grandmother’. I used to set an alarm every two hours to feed the puppies, so it was almost as if I had a ‘human baby.’
Not just that. However, even within the transgender community, many trans people are abandoned by their families, so most of them would look up to us as a “big sister” or “mother.” That’s another stage of my motherhood journey.
Varnam: How did you spend your childhood with your mother?
Laeticia Raveena: My mother and I are very close, and I had a wonderful childhood. My mother had five sisters, so there are lot of ‘Chitis’ and ‘Periammas’ in my family. Hence, there have always been so many mother figures in my life.
But my mother and I have a special bond because we attended Bharatnatyam classes together when I was a young boy. We used to perform in temples together, so we had a very tight friendship.
However, in my case, I have a connected relationship with my family. Luckily, I was not one of those transgender people who were abandoned by their families. So, I think the story will be different for them.
Laeticia Raveena believes that it is critical to inspire others to chase their dreams. They should have the courage to pursue success in any career choice they make, not just beauty pageants, dancing, or singing.
Varnam: Do you intend to have a child for yourself in the future?
Laeticia Raveena: I’ve always loved children and, for some reason, I seem to attract them. So, I’ve always wanted to have a child for myself. Even now, when I look at my dogs, I imagine that if my 13-year-old dog was a real child, she would be a teenager going to secondary school by now.
So I’d really like to have a child, however, I want to be in a position where I’m completely prepared financially, mentally, and in so many other ways to provide a good life for that child. And now, if the opportunity to have a child presents itself, I would certainly consider it.
Varnam: What do you want to say to all the mothers who will be celebrating Mother’s Day this year?
Laeticia Raveena: Like I said earlier, there are many motherly women out there. So my wish is actually quite simple: thank you for always nurturing and providing unconditional love, especially during this difficult time. During this pandemic, we are all in desperate need of it. All we need is someone to love us unconditionally and make the world a better place.
It was truly like speaking with a mother because she was so nourishing and warm in providing me with enough material for the interview. I’d describe her as a kind and soft-hearted person with a lot of motherly love.
A Mother is more than just the lady who gave birth to you. A mother is also the one who shows love and compassion to those around her.
On that note, I’d like to wish all the wonderful mothers a very Happy Mother’s Day.