Khary Payton might just be one of the proudest fathers in show business. The Walking Dead actor, 48, took to Twitter on June 15 to introduce the world to his transgender son, Karter. “This my kid. One of the most happy, well-adjusted individuals I’ve ever known. My son, Karter,” Khary began his moving message, captioning an image of young Karter wearing a helmet, elbow pads, and wrist protection as he gave a thumbs up.
This my kid. One of the most happy, well-adjusted individuals I’ve ever known. My son, Karter. Karter with a K because it reminded him of my name. He chose it. You see, he was born female but has always identified as a boy. pic.twitter.com/PLJDcRTQGY
— Khary Payton (@kharypayton) June 15, 2020
“Karter with a K because it reminded him of my name. He chose it. You see, he was born female but has always identified as a boy,” the actor explained. “He thought it would be cool if I announced it on social media. I told him that there would [be] so many supporters but also a lot of jerks who would be harsh,” Khary recalled explaining to his kiddo. But Karter was resolute, reminding his dad, “Yeah, I know about trolls, daddy. I can handle trolls.”
Khary was simply overcome by his son’s courage and self-assuredness, continuing his Twitter thread by saying, “Man, there is nothing more beautiful than watching your child feel the joy of exploring what it means to be true to themselves. This is his journey, and I am here for it,” Khary continued. “I hope you all have the opportunity to feel the unquenchable love that I am feeling right now.”The actor’s son collaborated with his father on the announcement at the half-way point of Pride Month. June was selected for the month of Pride for the LGBTQIA+ community following the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, where those who identified as LGBTQIA+ rioted against police officers after law enforcement tried policing the group for no reason. It’s been over 50 years of Pride, and yesterday marked another major milestone in the fight for equality.
One June 15, the same day Khary posted about his son, the Supreme Court decided in a 6-3 majority vote that members of the LGBTQIA+ community were protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — meaning that they cannot be fired simply based on their gender identity, sexuality, or more broadly identifying as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Celebrities and public figures, including former President Barack Obama, took to social media to celebrate the victory.
“Today reminds us that progress might be slow. It might take decades. But no matter what things might look like today, it’s always possible. Happy Pride month, everybody,” Obama tweeted along with a throwback photo of the White House alight in a rainbow color scheme. Like many, we can’t help but think that Khary and his son were among those who were proud of the decision, too.