For parents of kids who are transgender, gender education alone isn't going to provide that reassurance. What I think would really help are more everyday success stories -- people who can show trans kids, their parents and society as a whole that being transgender doesn't have to forever define you (unless you want it to).
This needs to end now. Those of us with the resources to fight in any way need to continue to stand up to those who are actively working to see more trans people dead, and we need to be absolutely present with those trans people who, at any given moment, may have fewer emotional or material resources than we do.
Doing something that is totally inconsistent with previous behavior and runs counter to personal philosophical and spiritual beliefs can nonetheless free one to live in a more positive and healthful manner. It's not a cure-all, but it gave me the tools to overcome stigma, live authentically in service to others, and not see myself as a victim.
In putting together a collection of interviews with compelling members of the queer community, one would be remiss to leave out Calpernia Addams. I was fortunate that she agreed to answer a few questions. Take a look at what she has to say about her life growing up, the politics of language, and her history as a tireless advocate for equality.
Public discourse around the subject is governed by media guidelines that operate to suppress discussion, such as this one from GLAAD: "Journalists should avoid overemphasizing the role of surgeries in the [gender] transition process." For me, you could not overemphasize the importance of sex-change surgery if you tried.
In 2012 Kylar made history by becoming the first openly transgender person to testify before the U.S. Senate. He was speaking in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. His truthful speech touched me then, and he continues to fight for transgender people now.
I've been asked many times before if I fear that my son will "change his mind." What if he "decides he wants to be a girl again"? What if I made a mistake by allowing him to transition at such a young age? I know that without walking a mile in my shoes, it's hard to understand. So let's pretend my child wasn't born to be transgender.