Parents’ Touching Film: Why We Accepted Our Transgender Son, 6

Fri, May 30, 2014 1:13pm EST by 45 Comments

Jeff and Hillary Whittington have a very special story to tell. The proud parents of Ryland, 6, want the world to know how their son, born a baby girl, realized he was a boy — and why they accepted him without question.

Jeff and Hillary Whittington are the definition of inspirational parents. After their baby girl started declaring she was a boy almost immediately after learning how to speak, they were faced with many new challenges. In a new video uploaded to YouTube, the parents tell the heartwarming story of how they came to the conclusion that their little girl was actually transgender, and why they immediately allowed “her” to transition into a “him.”

Parents Share Touching Story Of Son’s Transgender Transition

The Whittington family’s story is sweeping the internet and making headlines.

Proud parents Jeff and Hillary made the brave decision to share the beautiful story of how their infant daughter grew into their 6-year-old son.

In a 7-minute video uploaded to their YouTube, Jeff and Hillary give an exact outline of their son’s road to acceptance.

Ryland was born in early 2007 “healthy, happy, and beautiful” — but on her first birthday, the Whittington’s found out that their daughter was deaf.

Soon after receiving cochlear implants, Ryland learned how to hear and speak. As soon as she could speak, she started telling her parents, “I’m a boy.”

Thinking that their daughter was just going through a phase, they referred to her as a tomboy. However, it didn’t take long for Ryland to start protesting all things feminine.

Jeff and Hillary watched their daughter get older, and they watched her “phase” of thinking she was a boy only get stronger.

Things took a turn for the worse when Ryland started to feel ashamed of herself, and at 5-years-old she asked her parents a heartbreaking question: “Why did God make me like this?”

Jeff &  Hillary Helped Ryland Make The Change

That’s when Jeff and Hillary took matters into their own hands. They started “truly listening” to Ryland, and they also started doing research while reaching out to professionals and experts for advice.

It did not take long for Jeff and Hillary to realize that their daughter was actually a transgender boy. Though she was born with girl body parts, it was her brain that identified with being a boy.

After discovering a terrifying statistic that transgender children often become suicidal when not properly accepted by their loved ones, Jeff and Hillary decided it was time to let their son be just that — their son.

Ryland got his haircut, his parents changed their pronouns to “him/he,” and they sent a detailed letter to all of their friends and family members explaining the change.

“We lost a few… but the people who truly matter stuck by us,” they share in the video.

On May 22, Ryland and his parents were presented with the Inspiration Award by the Harvey Milk Foundation. During his beautiful acceptance speech, 6-year-old Ryland thanked his parents for allowing him to be himself.

“I’m a transgender kid,” Ryland said. “I’m a cool kid. I’m the happiest I ever been in my whole life. Thank you to my parents […].”

“And thank you to Harvey Milk for helping the world be a better place.”

You can watch and follow along with the Whittington’s beautiful and inspiring story in the video above. Warning: You are going to need tissues!

— Lauren Cox

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