Reflection on Friendship

The Day It All Began: The Story about how me and my best friend struggled to 3rd grade.

One day at school it was a regular day until…the teacher started to move kids desks! Then my name was called out to move! Me and my best friend Liam made sad faces at each other. I knew we were just on different sides of the classroom, but it felt as if we were on different sides of the earth. I was sad also scared.

Liam was Ella before he was Liam. Me and Liam were in kindergarten together. We played and talked. We were friends, very close friends. We were the first friend each other had.

I met Ella. We were both girls. Over the years Ella wore different cloths, and cut her hair. When I was in 2nd grade Liam was still Ella. At the very end Ella desided that she was going to be a boy. He was transgender.

Now I am in 3rd. Ella was called Liam at school now. We sat next to each other because nobody wanted Liam bullied. I was chosen because I was his closest friend. I always thought that they were two different people but Ella was Liam all along. I thought that Ella was my best friend and Liam a stranger. I thought I grew up with Ella but it was Liam all along.

At first I always said, “come Ella.” I got used to calling him Liam. I wondered how Liam was so brave.

When Liam was in 2nd grade he got bullied. Sophie asked, “are you a girl or a boy” and laughed. Ever since then we always whisper to each other when we see Sophie, we worry she will be mean again, but we are nice to her.

We always played, sat, talked, and worked together. We were ready for whenever Liam’s transgender adventure was here. Whenever we think about what happened we eighther laugh or get serious, but we are always there for each other.

A couple of weeks ago we saw a all gender bathroom at school. We ran to our parents and told them. They did not belive us at first but then they got excited. We raced back so quick we felt like we were flying. When we got there Liam’s mom took a photo of it. We all smiled from ear to ear.

I hope that no one will bully transgender kids because they are different, either way you are different too. So give me a hip hip horay for transgender!


Published with permission from the best friend of a young trans child in our advocacy network. All names are pseudonyms and writing appears with all original spelling and punctuation to respect the rights of the young writer.


A Mother’s Cry

I awoke this morning paralyzed. Paralyzed by so many feelings.

Fear & uncertainty

Anger & rage

Confusion & disbelief

Doubt & disillusionment

Panic & heartache

A primal need to keep my young trans child safe

How would I face my child as they awoke in the wee hours of the morning?

I did not know how to tell my child of the shame in my heart for what adults had just perpetuated upon their delicate soul. I did not want my child to know of the hatred in the hearts of so many Americans against the very essence of what makes my child the celebration of life’s diversity. I did not know if I could bear to tell my child the person we so proudly voted for, who gave us collective hope for the future, would not see her way to the presidency. So many, many things I did not have answers to. The simultaneous screaming of my heart and mind scared me.

In my despair, I turned to my heroes. They always bring me comfort when nothing else can. I read. I read the work of my dearest heroes. I found myself returning over and over again to this mighty hero’s voice. It haunted me, for its timeliness in today’s nightmare.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. I have decided to stick to love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend. -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King’s words gave me solace, they comforted me and quelled my rage. With all the strength I could evoke on so little rest from my night’s fitful sleep, I entered into my child’s room as they awoke. They curled up in my lap for a morning snuggle and I spoke these words to them:

Love, last night the person we hoped with all our heart might win the presidency, did not win the election. I’m so profoundly sad about that. But, here’s the thing. It will be okay, and, here’s why. We are together. We are strong. We love each other. There will be people at school today who will say unkind things, perhaps even to you. I’ve decided to say this to those that would deliver messages of hatred to me: I choose love today. Showing the love in my heart, being compassionate toward others, and caring deeply for all are my choices today, and every day forward. If someone comes to you with a message of hate, show them love. You cannot respond to love with hate in your heart for long. You are transformed by love. That’s the power of love. The way we position ourselves with others matters. We will show love, no matter what.

My child looked up at me with their big trustful eyes and nodded: Okay, mama.

As we entered campus this morning, we held hands and I said to my child: we hold our heads high today. We choose love today. We show love today. My child asked: Just today, mama? My response: I’m going to say that to you every day from now on, love. Today, and every day, we show love. That’s the only way we will build compassion and love in the heart of others. Show them, love.

As I let my young trans child’s hand go this morning, I wept. I was fearful, terrified really. But, also emboldened to show love and send a message of love through action. Our own antithesis to others’ hate: a message of love and humanity.

I continue to try to process what this election means for my child and their future as a trans person. I still feel paralyzed by uncertainty and fear. But, I have consciously chosen to go forth with strength. It comes from the love I have for my child. My cry of love is my message for my trans child and the world. I will try to recreate this new world in my child’s pulchritudinous image so they have a space to grow into everything they are capable of and destined to be.

This is my cry for my child: love.


Published with gracious permission from a mother of a trans child in our advocacy network. -C


Uplifting the Child’s Voice: A Poetic Journey

Uplifting the voice of the child is an act of democracy. Listening to the voice of our youngest members of society enables them to become actively part of our collective movement forward. As we labor together to provide a safe space where our gender variant and transgender children unequivocally see themselves in our world, it is fitting to begin our journey writing by shining a light on a child’s perspective on life. Our hope is that these poems spark your innate compassion and inspire you to capture what is alive in your mind’s eye. We hope you enjoy glimpses into a poetic child’s mind, published with permission from this young transgender writer. -C

Being a Transgender Boy

I am different.

Different in all ways.

Different than my best friend.

She’s a girl.

I was a girl.

This is called transgender.

I get bullied because people think I’m different,

but everyone is different.

It’s like they’re bullying themselves.

My friend helps me when people bully me.

So, I hope you’ll be nice to transgender kids.


People with different color




People with different clothes



People with different


Different people are how

we are the




Friends are priceless.

Friends can be

all you want.

Friends with money doesn’t




Friends without money doesn’t





Even though those friends

look weird it doesn’t


you shouldn’t



Even though those friends

look great it doesn’t




So just make a friend that’s





Writing has meaning.

When you put your




piece of paper

it’s magical.

When you just sit there




and when you don’t write

you don’t


your feelings.


Stories that Come to You

Stories come to you,

stories that give

you hope.

Stories through your


and soul.

Stories that give

you dreams.

Stories that come to you.