Monday, July 31, 2017
Dear Betsy DeVos,
You know what happens when trans students are supported in schools? They have the opportunity to succeed, to work to the best of their ability, and to grow, learn and excel in a safe and affirming environment.
My daughter is lucky to have support, and it's because of that support that she can focus on academics, being a positive member of the school community, and growing into an adult who will contribute to the betterment of our country.
It's because she is fully supported that she is able to "make the most of [her] educational opportunities... diligently working to reach [her] goals". Those are the words Donald J. Trump used in the letter she received as a recipient of the President's Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence. He continues on to implore her to continue to pursue her educational goals. He writes, "Your community and your country are counting on you."
Well, Ms. Devos and Mr. Trump, trans students are counting on their communities and, yes, their country to support them, to protect their rights and to ensure they have access to the education every single student in America deserves. They are counting on you. My daughter is lucky to live in a state and a district that protects her rights, but it shouldn't come down to luck. Do better.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Rebekah and I were honored to speak at the NYC Pride Rally last month! I wrote this on Facebook the following day...
"This kid amazes me every day.
"This kid amazes me every day.
And this community continues to amaze me. I am humbled, and grateful beyond words to the LGBTQ community for the welcome they have offered Rebekah and our family. Rebekah walked away last night with an immense amount of love and encouragement, and even an editor to help her towards her dream of being a writer!
As I said last night, it's because of this community, it's thanks to every trans person who has gifted us with their story, their experience, and their friendship - whether in person or by putting it out into the world - that I can be the mom that Rebekah needs… It’s because of you that Rebekah sees possibility and hope in her future. Thank you. We will keep fighting alongside you."
She was honored a few weeks later to receive the NYC Pride Award for Outsanding Rally Speaker. She is humbled and grateful, and we are so proud of her and thankful to an incredible community.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Dear Friends, because I keep running into this thinking ALL OVER THE PLACE, I'm going to say it a little louder for folks in the back.
Your child learning that transgender people exist WILL NOT make them transgender. It won't even increase the likelihood that they will be transgender or gender non-conforming.
Your child learning that gay people exist WILL NOT make them gay. It won't even increase the likelihood that they will be anything short of 100% straight (whatever that is 😂).
Your child learning that IT IS OKAY to be transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, gay, bisexual, pansexual or anything else will not morph them into any of those things.
Do you know what it WILL do?
It will make them better friends and neighbors to people who are LGBTQ or whose loved ones are LGBTQ. I know my kid would really appreciate that.
It will reduce the likelihood that they will be ashamed or confused about who they are and how they are feeling if they happen to be LGBTQ.
It will introduce to them the rich and beautiful diversity of this world we live in filled with people who look, act, believe, love, and live in a million different ways.
Friends... gender identity and sexual orientation aren't contagious. They are not confusing ideas that you must keep out of pure little children's heads. The more we teach our kids from the. very. start. that there are all different ways to live and love... the less we'll have kids unintentionally (we're not even going to talk about the intentional messages right now!) shaming or insulting other kids about who they are or what their family looks like simply because they haven't been exposed to the idea that not every family looks like their family.
Thanks from this kid, our family, and all the other LGBTQ families out there.