There is a larger educational point that needs to be said loud and clear for the benefit of other families and for transgender or gender nonconforming youth. That message is simple: For transgender youth, access to health care services saves lives.
The global trans movement has grown exponentially in the years since the campaign started, and the effort to move away from a pathology framework and toward one based on the affirmation of identity has been central to forging the path to liberation.
By hiding photos of a son dressed up as Minnie Mouse or Scooby-Doo's Daphne, a parent is sending the message that she is ashamed of her child. That's a message that gets received, quickly and with dire consequences.
There are whys to transgender activism, but beyond the whys, there are the whats of transgender activism: the goals. Here are seven goals of trans activism, with some explanation as to why these are trans activism goals.
On Wednesday nights a group of trans and gender-nonconforming young adults makes a lengthy trek to the Broadway Youth Center in Lakeview. They gather for Trans Youth and Resource Advocacy (TYRA) meetings, a space for safety and discussion.
Some parents have tried to raise their kids without gender stereotypes, only to get accused of being hippies at best and downright abusive at worst. Tell me what's abusive about not shoving your kid into a box that says, "This is how you're supposed to act given your genitalia."
Gender-nonconforming kids need to know there are others like them. In the media they should be portrayed just like everyone else. At home they need to be accepted and loved, not forced into roles they can't fit. In schools they need to be treated with respect and dignity.
These days, I'm mostly comfortable in my own skin. I enjoy being a man. But the embarrassed little boy who could never be himself will always be part of me. I try to carry him with tenderness, and tell him, always, that it's OK to be just who he is.
What gender-variant youth need are teachers who don't make assumptions, who ask lots of questions and then listen to the answers. Everyone is different. When a kid tells you what's important to them, that's what they want you to do.