How to flip the current narrative about transgender children. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. We cannot open the news without seeing a piece of transphobic legislation or news story. When visiting parent forums online, I notice fear is the predominant emotion being shared—fear for their child’s wellbeing, safety, access to healthcare, and their general future. I speak with parents applying for visas in other countries or moving within the United States. It’s time we learn how to flip the narrative about our transgender children.
For instance, I was thrilled to see many vital voices take a stand against the hateful barrage of New York Times articles published for too long. I am glad they finally mustered the courage to go against such a pillar of journalism. To clarify, it took too long.
Any apology or retraction by the New York Times will be a day late and a dollar short if they even apologize for their transphobic journalism. The lies are truth in the minds that want to believe them. This hateful rhetoric has been occurring in our local school board meetings and with legislators. The constant drumbeat of othering has done irreparable harm to our community. It is unacceptable.
Recently, I listened to an incredible podcast, White Lies from NPR, which recounts the events surrounding the murder of Rev. James Reeb and Bloody Sunday in Salma, Alabama, in 1965. One of my many takeaways from listening was that those surrounding the perpetrators were complicit in lying. They know the stories are lies. They knew who had committed the crime and chose not to speak up. This is the same thing that is happening today to the transgender community. Whether they be talking heads, journalists, preachers, or priests, the lies being spread about our children are criminal. And I promise you they are leading to increased anxiety, depression, and suicide in our transgender community.
If you are the parent of a transgender person, how many of your Facebook friends support your posts that support your child? In my world, I notice that I can post about a vacation or school achievement and have hundreds of likes. But when I post that trans people are more important than Harry Potter, I hear crickets; when I post about the injustices faced by harmful legislation harming my child or family, very few show support other than my fellow parents and a few vocal supporters.
Being visible and vocal are uncomfortable places to be for some. If our cis, heterosexual, privileged friends and family are not willing to stand up and support our kids, do we have any hope? I’m not sure. Further, what I know is that it is unacceptable to place the burden of standing up for the civil rights of our children on our children. Above all, it is intolerable to think that we would put the onus of fighting for bathroom equality solely on those who must worry about going to the bathroom and assault. It is time for those who love and support the transgender community to display their support.
Narwhal Magic Kindness is giving away window clings to anyone who wants to show support for the community. Use the word KINDNESS at checkout to receive a cling for your home, car, or place of business. We offer the clings free of charge to teachers, schools, and doctor’s offices; reach out to us. Another idea is to copy the following creative and paste it into your FaceBook or Instagram account. Ask your friends and family to like and share your post.
How do we flip the narrative about transgender children? In short, with your support. For those who love our children and the transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive community, I implore you to start being visible. The hateful rhetoric will only worsen as we cycle into the next Presidential election. Above all, we need your support; our children need your protection.