HRC Blog

Transition and Transcendence for a Father-Child Bond

Ellsworth "Nick" Rundlett IV was his father Derry's first-born son and best friend. Then at age 40, Nick came out as transgender. Nick is now Nicole, and openness and unconditional love have bonded father and child closer than ever.

In honor of Father's Day, the Maine Sunday Telegram is running a personal essay by Derry Rundlett on supporting and parenting his transgender daughter. Derry and Nicole also spoke to HRC about the ways Nicole's transition has strengthened their bond.

Nicole: As almost every transgender person will tell you, coming out and transitioning are some of the most difficult times in his/her life. Surrounding yourself with loving and accepting people is the key to getting through this incredibly tough time. I was so fortunate to have family and friends who supported me through my transitional years, and my father led the way through his positive outlook and loving words for me. From various people in my work and personal life over the years, I've experienced "tolerance." But, my father has been the spokesperson for "unconditional acceptance."

Derry: I found that supporting her without question or doubt, and being there for concerns she had along the way, made us very trusting of each other. I was also proud that she would call me with issues that were occurring, whether with work, relationships with relatives or other problems. I thought to myself many times, "How wonderful my daughter looks to me for guidance and help in this major transformation."

Read Derry's full essay here.

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