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posted Apr 12, 2017, 8:06 AM by PHS Warrior Beat   [ updated Apr 18, 2017, 7:47 AM ]
By: Rebeka Kline

    Tawana Brown is a mother of four and photographer, and has always seen feminine beauty in a traditional sense. Her eldest two daughters had always been the ideal of beautiful, and Tawana loved photographing them. An important event for her is Prom, where she would always photograph them on their way off in their beautiful dress. She also loved going dress shopping with them, since it is considered a rite-of-passage for all girls.

    Enter Tristin Brown, Tawana’s youngest daughter. At a young age, Tristin expressed the sense of being different than her sisters. Her first act of expression was to cut most of her hair off. Tristin later came out as lesbian, which was not an issue for Tawana, since her brother is gay and got married in 2014. What confused her the most was Tristin’s gender fluidity and expression of that; she began to think it was just part of a teenage phase. “I felt like she was trying to be different and to purposefully go against the grain.” she said.

   “I was sad because with having two older daughters, prom shopping has always been a big deal, a memorable moment of bonding with me and my daughters. I always assumed my baby girl would do the same. I assumed she would wear a dress… until she told me she didn’t want to wear one.”

    When prom came around, Tawana knew her youngest was not going to fulfill to her mother’s dream and be traditional. Tristin knew her mother didn’t approve of her wishes, so went prom shopping alone with the money her brother gave her. She came home with an oversized suit that would not fit her. Tawana was shocked, but she knew that it was what Tristin wanted. She put aside her own expectations to give her daughter what she wanted, but she wasn’t going to allow Tristin to leave not looking her best.

    Tawana took Tristin and her suit to the tailor, and when it came back, Tristan was overjoyed. “This is exactly how I wanted to look.” she told her mother, according to Huffington Post.

   In the days after, Mrs Brown and Tristan went shopping for accessories for her prom suit. The dream of going shopping for prom was actually happening for Tawana, no matter if it was for a flowy dress of a sharp suit. “Today, I feel I understand Tristin now more than ever before. I understand why her friends mean so much to her because they have been the only one’s who have fully accepted her. It was a sad realization for me, but I feel like that day bridged a gap between she and I.”

    When Huffington Post asked Mrs. Brown of what she learned as a parent during this, she answered, “Support and acceptance”, as well as saying she learned how brave and strong her daughter is.

Edited by: RK

Uploaded on: 4/12/17

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mom-i-dont-want-to-wear-a-prom-dress_us_58e68d53e4b07b26c000b6d3