Thank you so much for this piece. As the mom of a 13 year old trans girl who also lives in the south, I can’t love this enough. When I first began to realize what was going on with my (then) son, I began desperately searching for resources. It was 2008. In the south. There wasn’t much out there that I could find. It was a very lonely, isolating time. We eventually moved out of our small, rural town and into a somewhat more progressive one.
By 2016 when my child was deep in the throes of gender dysphoria and spiraling downwards rapidly, my state also passed a very transphobic, very GOP “bathroom bill” called HB2. I’d never paid attention to politics before, but that was my wakeup call.
I (rather unintentionally) became a public advocate, basically by chance as I began writing and speaking and hoping to educate and/or support others locally who might be in my situation. HB2 also pushed me into action to create, found, a manage a program at my local LGBT Center that serves the needs of trans & GNC kids ages 12 and under, and their families.
In my state of NC we have a saying: “Y’all Means ALL.” Thank you for helping dispel the notion that the south is full of ignorant transphobes. Many of us are fierce mama bears to our LGBTQ kids, family members & communities.