Op-Ed: How I nurtured my trans nonbinary child’s path — and learned to grow with him

Op-Ed: How I nurtured my trans nonbinary child’s path — and learned to grow with him

Two years ago, my then 7-year-old and I were having a date night when I jokingly asked, “Any deep, dark secrets you want to share with me?” E was quiet for a moment, then said, “You know, how when it’s piano recital time, and me and B always get to pick out a dress? Well, what I really want is a tuxedo.”

The thought of E in a bow tie and jacket made me smile, so I instantly said yes, and E was excited in a way that made me take notice. Before that night together, he was somehow getting dimmer, more internal. Voice barely a whisper. Always close to my legs. But, over the next few months, when he made other requests — to wear boy swim shorts instead of last year’s one piece as well as boxer briefs to bed, to use the boy’s restroom — and we said yes, E grew brighter. That’s the only way to describe it. Eyes bright. Smile wide.

Behind the scenes, though, I set out swiftly to educate myself, my husband, Allan, and my older daughter B, on how best we could support him.

It was the pandemic’s beginning, and we had the freedom to deepen our understanding of the difference between biological sex and gender; learn the differences between trans nonbinary, gender fluid and queer; and read up on the beautiful, long history of trans and nonbinary people throughout history.

We learned incredible stories from India, Pakistan and America, where they were healers and shamans in their communities. And we discovered our country’s long history of trans educators and activists such as Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson.

My husband and I began to follow educators online like artist Alok Vaid-Menon, Jonathan Van Ness of the “Queer Eye” television show and TikTok creator Jeffrey Marsh. We listened to their stories, believed their lived experiences. Their posts were and continue to be daily lessons in generosity and kindness, teaching the public about what it means to be trans nonbinary, an ally and a compassionate human.

We learned that using E’s chosen pronouns reduced depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. So, several months later, on our next date night when I asked E again, “Anything you want me to know?” And he shared, “Sometimes I feel like a girl, but sometimes I also feel like a boy. Could you call me a boy?” I knew the only answer was, “Of course, Bug!” squeezed him tight, while he shimmered.

From the moment E shared his pronouns with us, it felt like a celebration — that, first and foremost, he trusted us. He felt safe enough to tell us how he was feeling. And then, that incredible brightness, beaming into every room he entered. It was clear: When we respected E’s pronouns, he shined.

Still, navigating the world outside our bubble proves challenging. Multiple well-intending friends whisper-warn at the park, grocery store and parties not to give E meds or rush into surgeries. I kindly yet clearly explain parents are not giving irreversible medication or surgeries to their children, that young children cannot have gender-affirming surgeries and that delaying puberty with hormonal care allows trans nonbinary kids more time to discover who they are. Parents are not rushing children to become trans nonbinary. It’s the opposite — most parents I know are worried that their kids will be bullied and harmed if they come out as trans nonbinary.

Transgender youth make up only 1.4% of the U.S. population. And there is not an overuse of hormonal care or gender-affirming surgeries. A 2020 study published in the National Library of Medicine surveyed more than 20,000 trans adults ages 18 to 36, and 16.9% of them said that they had wanted pubertal suppression as youths. Only 2.5% of the participants ultimately received such hormone treatment. As for surgeries, another study found 25% of trans nonbinary people report having surgeries as adults. Of that percentage, their regret rate is only 1%.

Then, there are the neighbors who say it’s a trend — that liberal parents are making their kids trans. I have to remind myself to pause, breathe deep, find the ground beneath me, then clearly explain that parents are not telling young kids that they could be trans nonbinary. What parents like me are doing is allowing for curiosity when their child bravely shares that their gender doesn’t match their sex assigned at birth.

I share with these friends and neighbors that this year, states filed hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills, most targeting trans people. Here in Utah, where we live, a ban on trans kids from sports teams passed before a judge reversed it, only delaying the ban. I tell them about tattletale laws — such as doctors reporting young people receiving puberty-blocking drugs to the authorities — and how I sometimes wake up at night scared that allowing E to be himself fully may come with accusations from strangers, leading to having to defend my family.

On a recent weekend, at the farmers market, E pointed out two pins —one said, “I love my trans kid,” and another, “I love my trans sibling.” I purchased them, and B and I put them on. E held my hand sparkling.

Some people have warned, “What if E changes his mind?”

My answer is always: “He can change his mind as much as he wants. That is what being gender fluid is.” I hope E continues to change his mind — to be curious, explore, grow, shift and change. I hope E always feels free to be who he is, shine in this new and glorious way, and know that I am in his corner, no matter what.

Rebecca Brenner is a writer based in Park City, Utah.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

France through to World Cup knockout stage after Kylian Mbappe punishes Denmark

France secured their place in the World Cup knockout stage after a brace from Kylian Mbappe led them to a 2-1 win over Denmark. Read more »

Black Friday bloodshed: Teen stabbed in Staten Island mall during busy shopping day

As Black Friday bargain hunters searched for deals in the Staten Island Mall, a 16-year-old boy was stabbed in the stomach, police said Saturday. Two teens were arguing in the ... Read more »

Toronto outdoor public ice-skating rinks open

Despite blue skies and temperatures close to 10 degrees,  and the date on the calendar, the signs that winter has arrived in Toronto are growing. On Saturday, the City of ... Read more »

Kevin Johnson execution: Daughter denied request to watch father die by lethal injection

Corionsa "Khorry" Ramey, 19, says she is "heartbroken" she can't be with her father, Kevin Johnson, when he is due to be executed next week over the shooting of a police officer in Missouri in 2005. Read more »

Joy Behar Reveals Wild Location Of 'Goodbye' Party After Being Fired From 'Good Morning America'

Joy Behar Reveals Wild Location Of ‘Goodbye’ Party After Being Fired From ‘Good Morning America’ Joy Behar has a long history cohosting The View, but on the Friday, November 25, ... Read more »

Sean Payton explains ‘right fit’ he’s looking for in potential coaching return

Former Super Bowl-winning Saints coach Sean Payton, whose name emerges regarding virtually every NFL coaching opening, takes a timeout to huddle with Post columnist Steve Serby. Q: What do you ... Read more »

Climb Hire CEO Nitzan Perlman refused to hire ‘white people’: lawsuit

Climb Hire is a California company dedicated to supporting minorities entering the workforce. Shutterstock A black executive was canned after he warned his boss that she couldn’t refuse to hire ... Read more »

I left Thanksgiving dinner abruptly because my sister brought her dog

A woman divided Reddit users with her decision to leave Thanksgiving dinner abruptly due to the presence of her sister’s dog. Getty Images/iStockphoto Internet users are divided on whether or ... Read more »

Luigi Ronsisvalle was the Forrest Gump of the mafia—in the middle of everything

Hitman “Luigi the Zip” Ronsisvalle had dirt on everything from the French Connection to the Vatican Bank scam before disappearing into witness protection. Courtesy of Michael Vecchione During his two ... Read more »

Spain possible starting lineup for game 2 of the group stage vs Germany

Spain will try to replicate the resounding success of their 2022 Qatar World Cup opening game against Costa Rica when they come up against Germany. Spain launched an unbelievable opening ... Read more »

Why Mauricio Umansky Doesn't Think Selling Sunset Is Totally Real

Chrishell Stause smiling There’s been plenty of speculation over the years about just how authentic the Netflix reality show “Selling Sunset” really is. If you’ve never seen the show before, ... Read more »

France 2-1 Denmark: Kylian Mbappe nets brace as Les Blues cruise into World Cup last-16

mbappe.jpg Kylian Mbappe scored twice as France became the first side to book their place in the last-16 of the World Cup, sealed with a 2-1 win over Denmark. They ... Read more »

Pakistan's ex-PM Khan says his party to quit all assemblies

Pakistan's ex-PM Khan says his party to quit all assemblies Pakistan's former premier Imran Khan says his party will quit all regional and national assemblies Pakistan’s former Prime Minister and ... Read more »

Zabuza Momochi Details That Naruto Fans Should Feast Their Eyes On

TV Tokyo The anime adaptation of “Naruto” is adored all over the world because of the unique characters, gripping story, and, of course, the well-written villains. Many of them are straight ... Read more »

Actors Who Refused Roles In Tom Hanks Movies

Charley Gallay/Getty Images No matter their personal tastes, affiliations, or walk of life, pretty much anybody who enjoys movies of any kind, and has done so for the past 40 ... Read more »

Overboard Cruise Ship Passenger Found After Hours at Sea in ‘Miracle' Rescue

NBCUniversal Media, LLC The U.S. Coast Guard says a passenger who went overboard from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico was rescued on Thanksgiving after likely being in ... Read more »

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski gets emotional after bagging first career World Cup goal

An emotional Robert Lewandowski said he had fulfilled a childhood dream by scoring at the World Cup. Read more »

Man, 64, killed in Queens crash: NYPD

A Jeep driver fatally struck a 64-year-old man crossing a Queens street, cops said Saturday. The unidentified victim was crossing Seagirt Blvd. near Beach 31st St. in Far Rockaway about ... Read more »

Madison Square Garden and angry Rangers fan sued by sucker-punched Tampa Bay booster for post-playoff game assault

A New York Rangers fan punched a Tampa Bay Lightning fan at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan after the Lightning beat the Rangers Thursday, June 9, 2022. (@ScottKaplanOn/@ScottKaplanOn via Twitter) ... Read more »

Donald Anthony St. Claire Dies: ‘The Amazing Race’ Oldest Competitor Was 87

AP Photo Donald Anthony St. Claire, one of the oldest contestants to participate on The Amazing Race, died Aug. 31 at his Northern California home at Angels Camp, his son ... Read more »

I'm A Celebrity viewers worry for Mike Tindall after spotting lump on his back

1 / 2 I’m A Celebrity viewers worry for Mike Tindall after spotting lump on his back Mike Tindall walking along a plank in the Im a Celebrity jungle, watched ... Read more »

Democrat Chairman Jay Jacobs’ charity donated over $800K to Clinton foundations

Jay Jacobs is Hillary Clinton’s “close friend.” AP He’s in Camp Clinton. State Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs donated more than $800,000 to charities aligned with Bill and Hillary Clinton ... Read more »

United States Airports Receive FAA Funding For Winter Operations

United States Airports Receive FAA Funding For Winter Operations With winter weather on its way for the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has distributed grants to help airports ... Read more »

Inside the Gulfstream G700, a $75 million private jet that can fly from New York to India

MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers. Gulfstream’s latest plane took ... Read more »

Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights offers unique experience during holidays

forsyth county’s tanglewood festival of lights returns this year Watch the 2020 Tanglewoods festival of lights above. The Tanglewood Park festival of lights is once again taking up the stage ... Read more »

Groot's Gifts In The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special Don't Make Sense

Marvel Studios Marvel Studios has never really been the type to slip up on continuity issues. Under the all-seeing baseball hat of Kevin Feige is a world tightly connected, running ... Read more »

Kelsey Asbille Applauds Taylor Sheridan For Including Important Native Storylines In Yellowstone

Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images Taylor Sheridan and John Linson’s “Yellowstone” has been around the television scene for some time now, and yet, it shows no sign of decline as of yet. Episode ... Read more »

Hospital: 2nd Israeli, wounded in Jerusalem blasts, dies

Hospital: 2nd Israeli, wounded in Jerusalem blasts, dies A Jerusalem hospital says an Israeli man died of wounds sustained in blasts that hit the city earlier this week JERUSALEM — ... Read more »

Group in Austin to deliver giant Elon Musk sculpture to Tesla Gigafactory

You may have seen the sculpture around the city. Here's some background on the object. Read more »

Nebraska hires former Baylor coach Matt Rhule

Matt Rhule has agreed to become the next head football coach at the University of Nebraska Read more »

Ask Amy show notes: “DRAINED” Investigation into water bills

For this Ask Amy episode, we are taking a look at the entire KPRC 2 Investigates series on the City of Houston water department. Investigator Amy Davis led our team ... Read more »

Kylian Mbappé Gives France Lead With Late Goal Vs. Denmark

Juan Luis Diaz/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images 🚀 G⚽️⚽️⚽️L de Francia 🇫🇷 😍 ¡Doblete de Kylian Mbappé! 🔥 Ojito a lo que hizo Griezmann #FRA 2-1 #DEN#ElMundialLoEsTodo #FRAvsDEN pic.twitter.com/RsrtgZDylh — Telemundo ... Read more »

Judge Denies Bid for New Trial in Whitmer Kidnapping Case

A federal judge has denied a new trial request by two men convicted of conspiring to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Lawyers for Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. ... Read more »

How long should you cook a roast dinner? Safe timings for chicken, beef, lamb and pork according to NHS

If you are planning to cook a roast for your Sunday dinner this weekend you will want to make sure it is properly cooked! Undercooked meat can cause you to ... Read more »

‘You handled that thing for 4 years’: Woman says boyfriend asked her to Venmo him $7 for cold medicine he bought her

woman says boyfriend venmo requested money for cold medicine tiktok TikToker Jackie (@jackieli852) went viral after sharing a story about the time her former boyfriend sent her a Venmo request ... Read more »

Germany and Norway fans boycotting World Cup

Germany and Norway fans boycotting World Cup Soccer fans in Germany and Norway appear to be boycotting the World Cup in Qatar. Viewership inside both of these more progressive European ... Read more »

Robert Lewandowski’s tears after first World Cup goal were an admission that his time is running out

Lewandowski was overcome with emotion after scoring against Saudi Arabia (Photo: AP) Poland 2-0 Saudi Arabia (Zielenski 39′, Lewandowski 82′) EDUCATION CITY STADIUM – At the Education City Stadium, a ... Read more »

Steer Clear of These 10 Dividend Stocks

Inflation is all over the news. Whether it’s business, consumer or political news, we simply cannot escape it, and folks will continue to debate it. The Labor Department recently reported ... Read more »

Bayern Munich looking at another midfield logjam in 2023/24?

Bayern Munich looking at another midfield logjam in 2023/24? If you are trying to keep up with the transfer rumors within the Bayern Munich midfield group, you might find it…puzzling. ... Read more »

First Street defies top weight and beats Grivetana to claim Newbury Handicap Hurdle

Nicky Henderson continued his great record in the Coral Bet Bundles Intermediate Handicap Hurdle when First Street defied top weight to score narrowly after an epic duel with Grivetana. Read more »
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network