I don’t think people properly appreciated the genius of my child who wrote his first novel at 12, taught himself web design and video editing, and began to learn Japanese on his own at age 9. This self study led him to later choose his major at Texas State University, where he is currently a senior in the International Studies Program.
Here is a child who stands up to bullies, even if they are adults. Once at a comic book convention when he was fourteen, he saw people posting nasty comments about photos of girls taken with a celebrity. He approached them and politely asked them to take their posts down. Here is a child who, at 15, went to find police assistance in an airport when angry adults were on the brink of rioting over rescheduled and canceled flights. Here is a child who, in seventh grade, when a boy put his head up my child’s skirt, made that boy publicly apologize for violating his space.
Throughout his life, people have tended instead not to see these qualities of my son’s: fairness, integrity, strength, hard work.
Instead, they focused on how he did not fit in. For instance, when addressing the issue of the boy who put his head up my child’s skirt, the seventh grade counselor suggested perhaps it would be best if I taught my son not to make a target of himself. People focused not on his outstanding grades (ranked no. 24 in his graduating class and currently a senior at Texas State with a 3.87 gpa) but instead on his anxiety, which sometimes made it a struggle to focus on class. Anxiety which was exacerbated by students who daily pointed out how different he was. How twisted. How disgusting. How damned.
My son is transgender. He is unfailingly kind. He is compassionate. He sets high standards for himself and works diligently to achieve his goals. He is a good, moral person, and to those who don’t see this, I say look deeper.
The reality of his situation is that once he graduates, he will face difficulty finding a job in his field because he is trans. This is ludicrous. Any company on the planet would be lucky to have him on their staff. I see my son as a diplomat, a translator, an international advocate for fair labor laws, an entrepreneur, a visionary, a member of Congress. Anything he works hard for, he can be.
Today is the Trans Day of Visibility Rally here in Texas. My son is trans and he deserves TO BE SEEN.
Park: You are a remarkable human being and we are proud of who you are.