When She Says She’s a Girl, Trust Her”

From The Transgender Family Handbook, an essay by Theresa Thorn, When She Says She’s a Girl, Trust Her. In part:

In hindsight, my firstborn, who had been assigned male at birth, had been trying to signal to me about her gender for a while and, without understanding the harm I was doing, I had been subtly dismissing her hints and gestures. I knew trans kids existed, but I hadn’t thought my kid was trans, which led me to discourage her from wearing a dress on Picture Day (“It’ll be confusing”) and repeatedly cut her hair (“It’s just easier this way”). To me at the time, these had been simple exercises of parental judgment. To my child, they had probably been rejections. By spelling it out in no uncertain terms on the night of the reception, she told me she needed me to start really seeing her. And I honestly wanted to. I wanted to understand every corner of this mysterious little person I helped bring into the world. But to see her for real meant I needed to trust her in a way I never really had before.