Monday, January 1, 2018
Happy 11th Birthday, Rebekah
It was a big year full of challenges and accomplishments. I wish you didn’t have to know that there are so many in this world who don’t want you to be yourself. I wish you didn’t have to watch as our country wages war on the LGBTQ community. I wish you didn’t have to be afraid -- for your acceptance, for your rights, for your safety. But you have proven this year, that you will rise to the challenge. You boldly and confidently joined others in fighting for your rights and the rights of the entire trans community. You spoke in front of hundreds at rallies. You told your story to legislators. You appeared on tv. You raised money. You helped educate your peers. You’ve inspired and supported others, young and old, on their journeys to their true selves. Your honest message of hope and resistance went viral over and over again. You lived defiantly as your authentic self every single day. You did it all and still made time to achieve academic honors, learn to play field hockey, face your fears mountain biking, and dance your heart out. I’m proud, awed, and absolutely exhausted just thinking about it all. You are so much more than your gender identity. You make us laugh. You are sarcastic, sassy and incorrigible. You frustrate the heck out of us. You surpass and sometimes entirely defy expectations. You feel everything with your whole body, and sometimes that’s really darn hard. You truly want to make the world a better place. You’ve done more in your eleven years than some do in a lifetime, and you show no sign of stopping. I wish you didn’t have to fight to be who you are. I wish I didn’t know the challenges that may lie ahead. But I am confident that you will change the world. You have certainly changed ours. When people ask me “how could a child so young possibly know who they are?”, I just have to laugh. I dare them to underestimate you. That’ll be fun.