The mother of a trans kid has sent a brilliant message of self-acceptance.
Katie Flesch spoke to ABC News to say she hopes to encourage parents and others to be more accepting of trans people.
She told her daughter Elizabeth’s story, hoping to bring hope to trans young people and their families.
“She is one of the most amazing people that I know and that’s including children and adults,” said the mum.
“She is so empathetic and just compassionate towards everybody. I am truly honoured, and blessed and lucky that she is mine.”
Going on, Flesch said: “I feel like if I’m given a platform to educate and advocate for my daughter and behalf of the transgender community, then I should do it. I want to show my daughter that she should never be ashamed or hide her true self. She’s beautiful and amazing and I want her to be herself all the time.”
Elizabeth was assigned male at birth in 2009, but her mum says she and her twin brother Logan couldn’t be more different.
“She’s always been a happy child, but once she started communicating and having a personality of her own, it was different,” she said.
When Elizabeth began asking for pink and purple toys, and specifically reaching for gendered toys aimed at girls, her mom said she didn’t think there was anything significant about that.
She said she would “dance everywhere”, and that she would do pirouettes when she was bowling.
Her family first thought she might be transgender when she was given the option to pick her school supplies and chose pink shoes from the girls’ range, and a Hello Kitty backpack.
Two separate psychologists diagnosed gender dysphoria in Elizabeth, and with the support of her principal, school mates and parents, she transitioned.
Flesch and the school administration decided to let Elizabeth use the bathroom in the nurse’s office, in order to “allow her to transition slowly”.
But she was clear that, if Elizabeth asked specifically to use the girls’ bathroom, she should be allowed.
She added: “Transgender people just want to have the same rights and freedom as everybody else. If it came to a point where Elizabeth wanted to use the girls’ bathroom, then she should have the same rights as every other girl, but she’s OK using the faculty bathroom and I’m OK with it as long as she is.”
While it took a little while for Logan to pick up the name change and pronouns, he and the rest of Elizabeth’s classmates have fully accepted Elizabeth.
Logan “has a sister now and that’s just everyday life for him,” Flesch said of her brother.
Meanwhile, her mom says she trusts Elizabeth to communicated, and that she knows herself better than anybody else could.
“She’s very brave,” she says.
“There are some circumstances that she won’t defend herself, but for the most part, she puts her hands on her hips and sticks up for herself. She never wavers. She’s a girl. I like to ask people, ‘At what point did you know you were a girl?’ When I was 7 years old, I knew that I was a girl and it’s the same way for her. She knows that she’s a girl.”