My project focuses on transgender youth and the importance of parental acceptance. When transgender youth speak out about feeling like they were born as the wrong gender, parents are quick to say the child is wrong and deem it as a phase. Many parents don’t understand that children understand early on what gender they are regardless of their physical body. It can be very hard on parents to accept transgender children not only because they do not want their child transitioning but also because they are scared of how the world will treat their child. Waiting to transition however is more damaging and more difficult. Transitioning before puberty is the best decision a parent can make for their child to avoid a lot of emotional and physical challenges later on.
Featured on Nightline from ABC is the story of Dyson, a young boy who started wearing dresses at 2 years old. The mother explains the story of Dyson who identifies as a “Princess Boy.” Sheryl learns to accept her son and writes a book My Princess Boy which holds a message about acceptance and gender. This story is a wonderful inspiration for other parents with transgender children to learn acceptance and see how happy a child can be if their choices to be different are accepted. Sheryl explains that she is uncertain whether Dyson is gay, transgender or something else but she is ready to accept whatever her son ultimately decides.
Jazz is a transgender girl who speaks out about being transgender. She came out to the public at age five (and her parents let her transition at this age) when she wore a one-piece swimsuit to her birthday party. Her story was featured on 20/20 with Barbara Walters (and by other newscasters) since she came out so early and her parents accepted her. She acknowledges “I have a girl brain with a boy body” at a young age and is one of the youngest documented cases of male to female. This story truly demonstrates how acceptance early on can lead to a very successful transformation and a happy childhood. This also helps demonstrate how children don’t just experience a “phase” but understand very early on what gender they are supposed to be.
Media Bias: Trans Youth
This video dives into media bias against transgender youth. In the media it is expressed that transgender children are just confused and are brainwashed. There are many errors and homophobic coverage treating children with disrespect and declaring that children who transition could be making the biggest mistake of their life.
The Youth & Gender Media Project
This campaign is directed at transgender youth and their parents as a supportive and educational space. The campaign produces films to introduce the idea that young children know when they are transgender and the struggles they face being trapped in the wrong body with an unaccepting society. The website is striving to help people take direct action to create safer schools and make a difference by sharing their films with as many schools as possible.
This is a collaborative space for transgender stories. There are news stories, blogs, and videos both against and in support of transgender youth. Parents and youth speak out using Huffington Post about their experiences. This diverse space is a wonderful resource for one to become aware of transgender issues and understand the challenges.
It Gets Better
This campaign was launched in 2010 and became very well known across the internet. The “It Gets better” project aims to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and helps them realize that they can get through the tough times and life will get better. This campaign has inspired thousands of supporting videos from allies, the queer community, and famous people expressing their support for LGBT youth. This specific video is directed towards parents of transgender youth explaining about their experiences, how to support a child’s transition, and why it is important to be accepting. The video shows how much love and support is out there and advises parents to love and support their child and that ultimately “it gets better.”