This hero dad has become an advocate for his trans son
An inspiring father from Texas has become an advocate for his transgender son, Ashur, and has shared some important words about his own journey of acceptance.
Ken Ballard spoke about coming to terms with his son’s gender identity during a Texas 85th Legislative Session.
While he is now a staunch activist on behalf of his son and other trans people, it was a journey for Ballard to get to that point.
“The thing is,” he explained, “I’ve I only knew I had a son for the past two years. Twelve years prior to that I kept calling him my daughter.”
The turning point for Ballard was when he was in his son’s room.
Ballard found a suicide note that Ashur had written.
It read that he did not want to live is he “couldn’t live as the person he was inside”.
Ballard and his wife confronted their son about the note, and he revealed that he had written it earlier but had failed his suicide attempt.
Ballard knew then that they had to embrace their son.
He explained: “Was I going to be his bully? Was I going to try to put him back in a box that fit the rules of my world at the time?”
“I say it often, I’ve said it before to anyone who has ever heard me talk: I didn’t have this kid to fulfil my dreams, I had this kid to help him realise his. So, I did what a dad does – I loved him. I still love him.“
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The father told his moving story because he is now an advocate for trans people in the state and he wants to keep on progressing, rather than heading back.
“I’d like to believe we’re at a point that in a civilized society that none of this no longer matters. The colour of your skin, how a person identifies, what’s on their birth certificate… But these are not those times.
“These are times when they want to build walls between our state and the culture that’s the very fabric of what makes Texas great.
“These are times when we’re trying to tell women what to do with their bodies again; I thought we finished this argument.
“These are times when they want to take away the progress made on benefits to spouses. And these are times when they want to tell my kid what bathroom he can go to,” he added.
Ballard finished his moving speech with an important message for not only those with trans family members but also government officials trying to pass anti-LGBT bills.
He said: “And I have to finish with the immortal words of the Foo Fighters: ‘It’s times like this you give and give again. It’s times like this you love and love again’.”