Thriving trans adults are switching the narrative to joy and hope.
As trans children face bullying, violence and a potential loss to healthcare rights, the world might seem like a hostile and lonely place.
However, several trans adults, now thriving in their post-formative years, have taken to Twitter to offer solidarity and hope.
Kicked off by Axios Chief Technology Correspondent Ina Fried, the Letters 4 Trans Kids hashtag recognizes that “it’s been a rough time for trans and nonbinary youth,” and offers to show support by “posting a message of encouragement to these amazing young people.”
Fried set the tone early on with her letter, which was filled with compassion.
“I know it can be hard sometimes — really hard. It’s tough enough to figure out who you are inside. And then you have to figure out what to do with that knowledge and how to make your way in a world that isn’t always so kind.
Please know that however many angry voices are out there, there are also lots of us cheering you on. I want you to be fully you, whoever that turns out to be. And it’s okay if it takes some time to figure it out.
That’s part of what being a kid is supposed to be all about - figuring out who you are.
I just want you to know that I may not know you, but I see you and I stand proudly with you and for you every day.
Keep being you.”
From there, journalist Arthur Webber followed suit, sharing a story from his own childhood:
“My nights were spent praying that in the morning I would be a boy. I would wake up disappointed. However, I already was a boy–no divine intervention required.
On Christmas Eve aged 7, I cut off all my own hair and enthusiastically told my family that I finally was a boy. I had been watching ‘The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe’, so perhaps I took the image of children coming out of a closet too literally. However, I already was a boy–no (terrible) haircut needed.
When I met other children on holiday I would tell them I was a boy. I’d avoid giving them my name and say I was born without one. Which everybody is, really. The devastation I felt when my family would fetch me using my deadname and reveal that the outside world believed I was a girl still lingers with me. However, I already was a boy.
I was a trans kid like you. It's a limited edition gift with no receipt. Sometimes you’d give anything to return it because it’s too hard to look after, but most of the time you’re thankful that it’s unique."
Filmmaker Alice Wu applauded trans children for their self-awareness.
“In many ways, you are more mature than the world is (than I was at your age)....we need you,” she wrote.
“I am embracing you. Accessing the Power, the Magic, the Love of our friends, our community, our ancestors and engulfing us in it,” wrote Puerto Rican actor and drag king Vico Ortiz. “We are so proud of you…you are a light in this world. A gift…I am in awe of how fierce y’all are…and with every fiber of my being I will fight with you and for you because you are indispensable.”
He also noted having more representation than ever on “film, tv, media” starkly contrasting “thousands of bills threaten[ing] our very existence” felt “a little dystopian.” However, he regarded it as a “reminder” of the trans community's power.
Countless tweets began to flood in from other trans artists, advocates and allies ready to open up their hearts.
I'm so sorry that there are people in this world who will try to dim your light, please don't let them. There are so many allies who would love to help and be a support for you. You are loved. #letters4transkids— Rachel Guzman (@rachelguz) April 20, 2022
Following @inafried’s lead and adding my words to #Letters4TransKids!— Steven Petrow (@StevenPetrow) April 20, 2022
It wasn’t until I was in college that I read a book that finally helped me to understand why I felt different. (1 of 5) pic.twitter.com/lZ4nawSrXI
#Letters4TransKids embracing who you are can be scary, but also great! You're on a path to finding new levels of happiness and that's something to celebrate. It's ok to like who you are and your experiences, and to feel pride <3— Andrew K Copeman (@AndrewKarlyle) April 20, 2022
Everyone had a different version of supportive words and stories. However, the general message was clear: You are valued exactly as you are, and you are not alone.
When so many obstacles seem to await these kids—all while facing the everyday challenges of simply growing up—genuine care like this can go a long way.
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