Keith lives in Winterville, North Carolina, and is the proud dad of two sons, one of whom is transgender.
Around the second grade, Keith’s transgender son began shopping in the boy’s section. Keith readily accepted this request, always encouraging his children to be themselves. In January of 2015, however, Keith says he was shocked when his son said he wanted to transition.
“Internally it was a big process for me because it's trans kids that get beaten and murdered,” Keith said a new HRC video. “Any time there's vitriol and bile that blows back from parts of society or in the media or in print or whatever, or even just peers, that takes a toll. But he's extremely resilient.”
Since his son came out, Keith’s only wish is that he continues to be happy in his own skin.
“I personally take every chance I get to try to dispel misconceptions and misinformation. Keeping this a very public issue and trying to spread the word and educate, that's reassuring,” Keith said a new HRC video. “I am just super, super proud of his ability to persevere when he needs to persevere. I think it's part of his core wiring and who he is. He's such a good spirit and a good heart.”
While Keith has become a vocal advocate for transgender youth, many LGBTQ young people lack crucial support from their families, and instead are rejected, leaving them at risk for homelessness, substance abuse, depression, and suicide. Up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ.
Watch the video below to see the difference supportive dads can make in their transgender children’s lives. For more information on supporting and caring for transgender and gender-expansive children and youth, visit hrc.org/trans-youth.
Whether you identify as transgender or as an ally, join HRC’s #ThisIsTransgender social media campaign to share your story. Tag HRC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and send your Snapchat snaps to WeAreHRC and include the hashtag #ThisIsTransgender.