Earlier this year I was contacted by Renee, mother of Bella, a transgender six-year-old girl. She said Her daughter wants very badly to tell the world about herself.
Bella is six years old and is just now completing Kindergarten.
“Mommy I want everyone to know”.
To remain anonymous, Renee and Bella are using pseudonyms for this article. Renee wouldn’t have contacted me, but her daughter insisted She wants her daughter to have a normal childhood, to experience all that an adolescent girl would without the distractions and interference that publicity brings. For the sake of the article, Renee will help Bella answer these questions.
Kelli: Bella, please tell us about what it was like before you transitioned?
(Bella used to come home from school with bruises and didn’t want to tell her mom how she got hurt. )
Bella “I was scared to tell mommy because I thought she wouldn’t let me be friends with them because they hurt me. I felt left out and not important. The kids would only be my friend sometimes. They told me I could never be a girl. It hurt my feelings and made me sad.”
Kelli: You decided to transition during Christmas. How did that feel?
Bella “It was hard at first because my hair was short. But it felt good. Finally, my outside matched my inside. I thought, “This is how I’m supposed to look!”
“I got to wear my first princess dress in public on Christmas Day.”
Kelli: What was it like going back to school after Christmas?
Bella: “The boys don’t bother me anymore. One kissed my hand and called me his wife. I have more friends now.”
In a phone conversation Renee, she talked about going to Bella’s school to talk her principal about her coming back in her authentic gender. Renee was in for a big surprise. Fearing the worst, she was flabbergasted when the schools Principal told her that her own child is transgender. You can imagine how surprised she was when the principal then said her child had just begun the process of transitioning from female to male.
Renee was told not to worry, everything would be fine. The principal reassured her that Bella’s teachers and school were all on board with her transition.
Bathrooms? A non-issue
During her early years at school, every class has its own restroom, but Renee has been assured that there won’t be any issues with her using the correct restroom as she advances in school.
Kelli: Bella, in closing is there something you’d like the world to know?
Bella: I’m a girl no matter what! It’s not okay to pick on trans kids. We’re just like everyone else. Bullying hurts us too!
Renee is so thankful that her daughter is able to talk to her now saying “It’s such a relief that Bella can tell me about this now. She’s very proud and tends to keep things to herself.”
Renee’s read about the suicides of trans youth this year and thinks the causes, rejection by family and school are akin to any fatal disease.
Renee asks parents “wouldn’t you rather have a live transgender child?”
Darlene Tando, LCSW wrote “Proud to share a video I made to celebrate transgender youth & adults. For those facing adversity, “Shake It Off!”
Follow Darlene Tando on twitter @DarleneTando