Telling Trans Stories: Daniel

by Guest contributor

Across the country, state legislatures are trying to pass dangerous bills that attack transgender kids. From legislation preventing kids from playing sports to others that would prevent access to gender-affirming care, these bills are harmful and must be stopped. We're sharing the stories of trans kids and their families to highlight why they deserve the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. If you want to get involved, text PROTECT to 472-472 and join us in the fight for trans equality.*

You can explore all of our Telling Trans Stories series on Instagram.

Daniel lives in Arizona and is a huge fan of playing basketball, building new worlds on Minecraft and helping with his family’s business. We talked with him and his mom, Lizette, about the anti-trans bills being filed across the country that would harm kids like Daniel.

“Playing basketball is my favorite thing to do with friends, especially since I’ve met so many of them on the court. I even got to play on our JV boys team this last year before COVID happened. Basketball has been so important for me, not just for making friends but also feeling like every other kid at school. I socially transitioned in the third and fourth grades, and for me basketball is where no one cares about my gender identity — they just see me as another player on the court.”

“Daniel started expressing gender expansive behavior from a fairly young age and came out to us as trans when he was XXX. We actually learned that around the age of eight he’d started using his real name and he/him pronouns among his friends for a while, but was worried about telling us. It’s been great to see him receive so much support from friends, teachers, school staff and his doctors. Our goal has always been to create an environment where he feels safe to be himself, where he can thrive like every other kid his age.”

”It would be so bad if these bills were signed into law. I’ve met so many of my close friends by playing basketball and they’ve really become a support system for me throughout middle school. The bills targeting access to health care are even more dangerous and could have horrible impacts on kids like me. Legislators are always asking for public opinion on new laws, or community projects — why aren’t they doing the same for these bills that’ll hurt trans people? They aren’t listening to what we have to say.”

“These bills are essentially trying to deny that trans people even exist. They’re claiming that kids can’t understand their gender or gender identity, that they can’t know what being trans is. But this dismissiveness isn’t okay. We don’t question how cisgender kids or adults came to understand their identity, so why do we do it to trans people? Legislators are denying that trans people exist by denying them the care and resources they need to survive.”

“To all the parents out there, my main advice is to listen to your kids. When we share something with you, it’s because we want to be seen and heard. It’s important for trans people, and especially trans kids, to have our stories heard so that others can get to know us for who we are.”

“Believe in trans people and believe in trans youth. If you’re a parent or family member wanting to learn more or find ways to support your child, or just support the community at large, take advantage of all the information that’s out there. We have to challenge our comfort zones and interact with people from all walks of life to really help make a more equal future.”

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