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My hardest struggle.....
You know, and I think I have touched on this before, the hardest thing I am struggling with, is not the surgeries, not the hormones, not the clothes, or makeup, or being in public. It's none of those things. Nor is it how friends or family accept and treat me. Because they are all great. Nope, the hardest thing I struggle with is how my two young sons address me. I really don't care if they call me 'dad' around the house for the rest of their lives. They accept me, and love me, and that's all that matters. But when we are in public, I worry how they, not me, will be affected if someone overhears them call me 'dad', and that person makes some really asinine remark. I struggle and worry about how my two sons will feel. That, dear ladies, is the absolute hardest struggle I have. Love, Michelle Heart Heart
You can't control how strangers will react.  You can only control how you will react.  If some stranger makes a stupid remark and you verbally lash out at the stranger, what is the lesson you will teach your sons with that?  (I'm not saying you will lash out, I'm just setting the stage here.)  Perhaps just as bad would be to leave/flee the situation for that only teaches them that they should run away anytime they are confronted by a bully (and a bully is what that stranger would be.)
A controlled response to that stranger is the best lesson you can give your boys.  And then afterwards, when you are in a better setting, discuss with them about what happened, why/how you reacted the way you did and how their choices can affect them and those around them.  Thinking ahead of time about how you want to react, need to react, will better prepare you for that event, which we hope never does happen.
I feel for you.  It's a tough situation for you and for them.  One boy just turned 8, I don't remember how old the other is.  Until the past couple of years, they have only known you as dad.  I think it's good that you let them continue calling you dad rather than rigidly forcing a change of thought upon them.  It would be nice if they would call you mom instead but they are probably trying to sort this out in their minds as well.  Hopefully they will eventually come around.

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