Jazz is an 11 year old (trans) girl who started speaking publicly about being trans when she was 6 (on 20/20 with Barbara Walters), created a trans kids network, and who recently got the US Soccer Federation to change their rules so that all children, no matter their gender identity or expression, can now play soccer. It took her 2 years to get them to change the policy.
I can’t think of anyone better to honor the legacy of Dr. King today. This is the stuff social justice is made of. Now watch how stunningly well spoken she is, too.
The author of When Kathy is Keith, in a phone interview with straight.com out of Vancouver, says:
“A lot of times, parents with straight kids, they think like, ‘You know what? That would never happen to my kid so why would my kid need to learn something like this?’ And I think the key is your kid doesn’t need to be LGBT. As long as your kid is perceived with any trait associated with LGBT, they can be bullied. They can be made fun of. Your kids can be a victim of any of that.”
He adds that parents of transgender children go through a difficult emotional process of their own.
“Parents, they have to go through different stages themselves,” he explains. “In the beginning, they tend to deny it. They hope their kids will grow out of it. They are having a tough time. They have to grieve over losing a son or a daughter and welcoming a new gender of a child. And I think that’s a process. It’s not easy for any parent to accept that because no parent has a kid and then think that this kid may be a transgender kid…. It’s tough… [when you have] a dream for your kid and all of a sudden that dream vanishes, and you have to recreate a dream for your kid[’s] future, and at the same time, knowing that society is not so tolerant out there. And I think that is very tough [for] a lot of parents to accept that.”
He advises parents who have transgender children to talk as much as possible with other people about these issues.
“I really think that [they should] talk to people about it, talk to other parents about it. And don’t just talk to one person. I would talk to multiple people. Talk to the school principal, talk to the counsellors, talk to the professional psychologists or social workers…even family doctor[s], so they can know there are people like this out there, they are not alone, and they can get help.”
Good advice all around.