Post submitted by Jay Brown, former HRC Communications Director 

Jodie Patterson is a mom of five. And in an incredibly moving video posted yesterday, Jodie shared the story of Penel, her third child -- who is transgender.

Raising a Transgender Child

What it's really like when your daughter becomes your son

Posted by Cosmopolitan on Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Assigned female at birth, Penel was sure of his identity from as early as he could articulate it. Jodie talks about her experience wondering if she hadn’t empowered Penel as she was empowered by her mother as a young girl. She shares her family’s path to accepting her son’s identity. And she talks movingly about how Penel “just lit up” when he was free to be himself.

“His siblings and his friends protect him,” she said. Penel also uses his full name, Penelope. So in the film, Jodie explains how his peers will help him meet new friends who may be confused by his name.

“A lot of the things I thought I would never be able to handle … you get it together really quickly when it’s your kid,” said Jodie.

The video, a documentary, was posted Oct. 14 and has already been viewed almost 500,000 times on Facebook.

For parents and others looking to learn more about supporting transgender kids, visit There you’ll find a map of clinical care programs across the U.S. that support transgender youth, a resource for K-12 schools about supporting transitioning students, and other materials to help you on your journey. 

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