Lifestyle & More

Three Transgender Kids Share Their Stories

transgender kids interviewed

Happy Pride Month! 2021 has been a document 12 months for anti-trans laws, and we stand in assist of our transgender pals and readers. This month, I used to be thrilled to interview three superb transgender children. Below they share their favourite hobbies, how they transitioned in school, and the recommendation they’d give different children…

Violet, she/her, age 13

Can you inform me about your self?
I’m 13 years previous. I’m nearly 14. I’m in eighth grade.

When did you transition in school?
The finish of second grade, starting of third grade. But I used to be a part of the women’ group from once I was in kindergarten. Everyone knew I wasn’t a boy. So, it wasn’t a shock once I transitioned. Everyone was so younger, they had been like, that is cool. They had been supportive. ‘This is weird’ occurred later.

What occurred then?
By fifth, sixth, seventh grade, individuals could be like, ‘You’re nonetheless a boy, you realize you’re nonetheless a boy.’ I’ve had experiences the place individuals have known as me slurs. But it was solely a pair individuals. All my pals had been supportive. And lots of people who weren’t my pals had been supportive. There will all the time be children who don’t perceive or don’t get it, and it sucks, however you simply need to cope with it.

I’m about to start out highschool. I’m shifting to a distinct college, so I get an opportunity to start out over and be nameless. That’s going to be actually good for me. I need an opportunity to have an everyday college expertise, not essentially based mostly on who I was. The children in my college proper now have recognized me since preschool, so that they know every part. I need to have management over who I inform and the way that occurs.

How did you select the title Violet?
My mother gave me a listing of names and he or she stated, decide one. I all the time favored the title Violet as a result of she stated that’s what she would have named me if I had been born feminine. I assumed the title was cool and completely different.

What have your mother and father, siblings or different individuals carried out or stated that has been useful?
Even earlier than I got here out, I bought the sense that it doesn’t matter what occurred, I might be unconditionally cherished by my mother and father and siblings. I’ve a twin brother in the identical college as me, and he all the time sticks up for me. He says if anybody says one thing, they will speak to him about it. He’s my rock. My little brother has solely grown up with me as Violet, so it appears regular to him, which I admire.

What do you want individuals knew about being trans?
The primary factor is that it’s not a selection. It’s a option to come out, however being trans isn’t a selection. It wasn’t like sooner or later I awoke and felt the way in which the wind blew and needed to be a lady. I ALWAYS knew I wasn’t a boy. It wasn’t that I needed to be a lady; I WAS a lady. I simply needed to put that into phrases and clarify that.

What was it like whenever you had been very younger?
I didn’t actually perceive the idea of gender, however about 4 years earlier than I got here out, the primary day of pre-Ok, my mother let me select what to put on. I used to be all the time sporting pink and expressing myself. Later, at my elementary college, you needed to do necessary swimming, and sooner or later within the locker room some boys had been misbehaving. I used to be so body-conscious that I might change within the stalls, so I wasn’t part of it. Then the swim instructor got here in and began yelling at them. And later our instructor was like, ‘Can all the boys stay behind? All the girls can go to the yard.’ And I used to be like, nicely, I’m not a boy so why am I even right here? It was irritating.

Are there issues individuals say or try this isn’t useful?
People suppose it’s okay to ask, Do you may have a penis? earlier than they even know me! It’s extremely inappropriate and it’s additionally a bizarre query. You can’t go as much as individuals earlier than you realize their title and say, hey, what’s in your pants? That’s all the time uncomfortable to me. But I additionally don’t like when individuals attempt to be overly supportive or be certain I’m completely okay with every part. When individuals are speaking about it in any respect, even when it’s constructive, I get embarrassed or flushed. So, I feel there’s a stability of respect with individuals’s pronouns and privateness and never being like, how do you are feeling about this? Can I name you this? Those are nice inquiries to ask however typically I’m making an attempt to simply be an individual.

Anything that’s shocked you?
Even in the event you anticipate some issues to occur, you’re nonetheless caught off guard. For instance, as I used to be going into the women’ toilet, I overheard somebody say, ‘Why is he going into that bathroom? He’s such a perv.’ I used to be like, okay… these things is certain to occur but it surely’s nonetheless a shock when somebody says one thing hurtful or impolite.

What would you inform a youthful child who’s transgender?
Even if some individuals don’t get it, on the finish of the day, it’s going to be okay. Everything that you simply’re feeling is completely regular. Don’t let anybody let you know that it’s not. It’s okay. Just dwell your life. Everyone cares about what others consider them, however when you cease caring as a lot, your life opens up. That’s actually highly effective for my part.

Also, discover a neighborhood, in the event you can. For a few years, I’ve gone to a sleep-away camp, which has all trans children. It has been a extremely superb expertise. It has given me an opportunity to attach with individuals who have gone via comparable issues and simply know that I’m going to have the ability to have enjoyable and a standard child expertise — and I’ve a deep reference to everybody there. I really feel protected there. Being trans there’s regular. I’m not the one one. That’s actually cool.

Zack, he/him, age 9

What hobbies do you may have as of late?
I actually like mountain climbing. I like portray. Sometimes I make dinner for my household, and I all the time make a dessert.

Ooh, like what?
I take a cookie after which I add quite a lot of chocolate. I as soon as made an Eiffel Tower of chocolate. I took a cookie and put a layer of Nutella and banana on it and one other layer of Nutella and a few York Peppermint Patty Minis and one other layer of Nutella and chocolate chips on high.

What’s your favourite animal?
I like snakes and tarantulas. I haven’t seen a tarantula however I need to.

What do you need to be whenever you develop up?
At college, now we have query of the day, and my instructor simply requested that query! And I stated both a meals inventor, rock climber or DJ.

Do you keep in mind whenever you realized you had been a boy?
I spotted I used to be a boy one night time proper earlier than mattress, and it simply got here to me. I yelled that I used to be a boy. My mother and my sister had been within the room. My pal was within the toilet bushing her tooth. I don’t know the place Daddy was.

How did it really feel to yell that?

What’s the most effective factor about being seen as a boy?
When individuals speak to me or about me, they don’t say ‘she’ or ‘girl.’

How did you select the title Zack?
At first, it was going to be Jacob as a result of we learn this ebook, The Pants Project. It’s about this woman and he or she went to a brand new college the place they’d a uniform and he or she needed to put on a skirt on a regular basis and he or she didn’t prefer it in any respect and there was a boy named Jacob who had a illness that made his legs typically not work and so then he and the woman turned pals and he or she informed Jacob that she was trans and he or she went to the college along with her pal after which they made a petition and all of the boys wore skirts to high school and he or she wore the boys’ uniform. I don’t know why I picked Zack, it simply got here to me.

When did you transition in school?
Third grade. Everybody was positive with it. There is one instructor who doesn’t actually perceive it, although. She says she tries however she actually doesn’t. I simply had class and he or she known as on me and he or she stated, ‘She’s had her hand up for a very long time,’ and I attempted to inform her I used to be a boy, and he or she stated, Shhhh.

What have your mother and father, sister or different individuals carried out or stated that’s been useful?
My mother stated she was going to e mail the instructor about it, which is useful.

What do you want individuals knew about being trans?
Some individuals suppose there’s one thing mistaken with you and so they suppose it’s only a section however the one one who will get to determine that’s you.

What would you inform a youthful child who’s realizing they’re trans?
If someone tells you it’s only a section, don’t take heed to them. It’s not their selection. Don’t take heed to individuals who let you know you’re completely different otherwise you’re bizarre. Well, in the event that they let you know that, take it as a praise.

Aya, she/her, age 9

Tell me about your self!
I do Rainbow Loom — I could make bracelets and chokers with rubber bands. And I bike loads. I wish to play Minecraft and play Dungeons & Dragons.

What are your favourite meals?
Oreos — however not the chocolate variety, the vanilla variety. Fries, cinnamon rolls and pasta.

Any meals you actually don’t like?
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, and I feel chocolate. We had been doing one thing within the yard, some occasion, and somebody introduced croissants and I requested, is it a chocolate croissant, and he or she stated, I don’t suppose so, and I ate it and there was a chocolate half in it.

Do you keep in mind whenever you realized you had been a lady?
I all the time knew as a result of earlier than I informed Mommy and Daddy, I used to be all the time sporting attire. For Halloween, I dressed up as Elsa from Frozen. Another time, all of us dressed up as witches and there have been completely different costumes for boys, and Daddy clearly bought the boy one, however I needed the one which my sister Emmie had.

How did you inform your mother and father?
There was one night time when my sister was like, ‘So… Mommy’s a lady, I’m a lady, Daddy’s a boy, and also you’re a boy.’ But I instantly was like, ‘No, no, I’m a lady.’ And that was the primary time, however there was one other time. We had been driving again from Mommy’s college, and he or she was telling me in regards to the completely different phrases like transgender and all completely different phrases and when she described transgender, I used to be like, that’s me. I used to be 5.

How did you select the title Aya?
Mommy’s dad’s title began with an A, so it needed to have an A. I actually favored Annabel, however Mommy and Daddy didn’t prefer it. Daddy instructed Aya. Now I sort of like Aya extra. But I title issues Annabel. I’ve a stuffy named Annabel. And I’m doing a historic fiction journal factor and the principle character is Annabel.

How did you transition in school?
It began once I was 5, however I transitioned in school in second grade. It took years. In second grade, I began sporting attire. At the top of second grade, I began utilizing they/them pronouns. In third grade, I began utilizing she/her pronouns. In fourth grade, I modified my title to Aya.

How had been these steps?
Everyone was accepting. There had been no dangerous issues, like saying, no, that’s mistaken. There was simply this one time I keep in mind — I used to be enjoying with a boy at school. And he recognized as a boy, however he wore so-called woman garments. There was this different boy who was like, ‘Why are you guys wearing girl clothes?’ I simply stated, ‘What’s woman garments?’ although I knew what he was speaking about. He was like, ‘That’s what you’re sporting.’ And I used to be like, ‘What am I wearing?’

Also, I informed Maria, my instructor, throughout second grade. That first day once I began sporting attire, we needed to do it on Monday. But that Monday was April Fools’ Day, and Mommy stated individuals may suppose it was an April Fools’ joke. But it was nice, no person thought it was an April Fools’ joke. My instructor Maria additionally learn a ebook that I introduced known as I Am Jazz.

Why did you select that ebook?
It’s a couple of transgender woman and I assumed it might assist everyone know what it means.

Are there some other books or TV exhibits you want with transgender characters?
The different image books I like are Born Ready, Introducing Teddy, Bunnybear, Julian Is a Mermaid, When Aidan Became a Brother, Neither, 10,000 Dresses and Pink Is for Boys. I actually just like the chapter ebook George, too. I additionally just like the TV present I Am Jazz. Also, enjoyable truth: When we had been watching a Mo Willems episode about drawing, he informed us that his youngster is transgender — the one from Knuffle Bunny. Trixie is now Trix!

What have your mother and father or different individuals carried out that’s been useful?
They’ve been actually supportive. My mother informed all of our kinfolk — ‘Aya is transgender and changing her pronouns and blah blah blah blah blah.’ And then at any time when we went to play with considered one of my pals who didn’t know, Mommy would whisper, ‘Do you want to tell them or do you want me to?’ And I used to be all the time like, ‘Can you?’ Everyone all the time has quite a lot of questions. And then I might play with them and there was no, like, Soooo… why are you doing this? Why are you sporting a gown?

What would you inform a youthful child who’s realizing they’re trans?
Don’t let anyone persuade you that you simply shouldn’t be transgender. Before I informed Mommy and Daddy, it all the time felt mistaken. Wearing boy stuff and going exterior as a boy felt mistaken.

What do you want extra individuals knew about being transgender?
I need everybody to comprehend that it’s not any completely different from anyone else. I imply, it’s completely different and particular, however you’re the identical as everyone else. I’m a lady. No biggie.

Thank you, Violet, Zack and Aya! Read extra about LGBTQ youth on the Trevor Project.

P.S. A transgender advocate’s magnificence uniform, and a colourful Seattle residence that’s all about acceptance.

(Photo by Hilary Walker/Stocksy. A couple of names have been modified to guard privateness.)

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