PAR­ENTS AND KIDS SPARK A ‘GEN­DER REV­O­LU­TION’

New re­search shows moms are a pow­er­ful part of the trans rights move­ment

StarMetro Halifax - - CANADA - TESSA VIKAN­DER Read more on the reasearch at thes­tar.com/van­cou­ver

VAN­COU­VER—WHEN 15-yearold Tru Wil­son was a young kid, she was a fem­i­nine boy named “Tray.”

“My par­ents ac­cepted me and thought ‘Oh that’s just Tray, he’s a very fem­i­nine boy and fig­ur­ing him­self out,’ ” she told Starmetro.

But as Wil­son got older, her fem­i­nin­ity got stronger. Her dad was wor­ried she’d be bul­lied, so when Tray was eight, her mom did some re­search and found a doc­u­men­tary on trans kids.

“She showed it to me and was like ‘this is a thing, are you this thing?’ ” Wil­son re­called. “Once the doc­u­men­tary ended, I broke down cry­ing, and was like ‘This is me, do you still love me?’ ”

Her mom told her, “‘Yes, of course we still love you.’” She then took Wil­son shop­ping for fem­i­nine cloth­ing.

New re­search out of Si­mon Fraser Univer­sity shows par­ents and kids like the Wil­sons are to­day in­ject­ing power into the trans-rights move­ment.

De­spite the sup­port in some fam­i­lies, many trans kids are still ‘in­vis­i­ble’ be­cause they don’t live in com­mu­ni­ties or fam­i­lies where it’s safe to be out, ac­cord­ing to au­thor Ann Travers.

JEN­NIFER GAU­THIER FOR STARMETRO

The Wil­son fam­ily, Michelle and Garfield, with kids Jaslyn, 10, Tru, 15, and Jude, 13. Tru is trans­gen­der. She and her mom speak pub­licly about their ex­pe­ri­ences in hopes of help­ing other fam­i­lies and trans peo­ple.

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