They say that parenting is full of surprises but Jeff and Hilary Whittington could never have foreseen the decisions that they would have to make as parents.
They fell pregnant and gave birth to a gorgeous little girl. Cute baby eh? They called her Ryland.
On Ryland’s first birthday, they learned she was deaf.
The news hurt Jeff and Hilary as they realised the additional challenges Ryland would face. Ryland received cochlear implants and learned to speak and hear. Things were going well and the parents thought that the toughest challenge was out of the way.
But Ryland kept telling them something else.
Ryland told anyone who’d listen that she was a boy. Some people told Ryland’s parents that it was “just a phase.” If it was just a phase it would come to an end, like phases do, but Ryland’s feelings and expression of them only got stronger.
It became clear to Jeff and Hilary that Ryland’s feeling were not just a “phase”
The inability to be himself started to get to Ryland
Shame is destructive and painful. And nobody — a child or an adult — should feel shame for who they are.
Ryland continued to share the truth
This was Ryland’s reality.
Ryland’s parents did some research and learning…
Jeff and Hillary sought help from professionals, learned everything they possibly could, and came to the conclusion that their child was transgender. Ryland was born with female anatomy, but Ryland’s brain identifies as male.
Ryland’s parents priority was the he remain *alive*
41% is 9 times higher than average.
Ryland’s parents took that to heart, and began making the transition.
They cut his hair, and he began dressing and living as a boy. They began using the correct gender pronouns: him and he.
Ryland was happy.
The majority of friends stuck by them.
Ryland now gets to live as himself.
Ryland’s parents made a touching video from which this article was put together, You can watch the video on YouTube.
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