School policies aren’t the problem. Unsupportive parents are.

I recommend you spend less time evaluating your school district’s LGBTQ policy and spend more time evaluating your relationship with your child. Regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, does your kid know that they’ll be loved unconditionally and accepted for who they truly are? If the answer is “yes, but” then the problem isn’t with the school. The problem is with you. Full stop.

3 things your child can do to help make middle school better for my trans son

My son starts middle school next week and seems absolutely fine with it. I, however, have been in a simmering state of anxiety for the last several months as I anticipate everything that could possibly go wrong. I’m sure every parent of every first-time middle schooler feels the same, but this situation is slightly different: my son is transgender.

The awkward tension of being a public advocate for my transgender child

It’s an awkward tension I find myself in daily -- feeling a responsibility to step up for my son while also feeling a responsibility as an ally to step back so that queer voices can be heard. I regularly hear words of encouragement and gratitude from LGBTQ people (and their parents) to keep going, but I also hear valid criticism from other queer people to sit down, and I struggle to know what is the right answer in each situation since both sides seem to be right.

An open letter to trans and non-binary youth

We hope you didn’t read the religion column that the Denton Record-Chronicle published last week, where a minister forgot the calling of love. He thinks using your pronouns is “too PC,” so he’s not going to try. Like bullies often do, he tries to pass off his cruelty as humor. We hope the adults in your life don’t laugh alongside him because you are not something to be made fun of.

PRIDE: a mom’s reflection on raising a transgender warrior

This Pride Month, and every month, I am proud of the LGBTQ Americans who live boldly every day -- whose very existence is its own form of protest. And yet, Max and his peers don’t have political agendas -- they’re just kids, worried about the same things that your kids are worried about: whether or not they’ll get to watch one more cartoon before bed, how much money the tooth fairy is going to bring them, and if the cat is going to be okay after eating that weird bug. Somehow, though, that very act of living out loud AND being simultaneously incredibly relatable and adorable is exactly the thing that is changing the world for the better.

Trans Children Don’t Always “Come Out,” You Know

Max, as my son is now known, has never really had to “come out” to the people in his life. He did, however, start using male pronouns and introducing himself as a boy by the time he was 6 years old, but honest to goodness he doesn’t even remember a word of the conversation we had together. Being true to himself is all he’s ever known in this family.

Speaker Straus wrote back! (And it’s not a form letter!)

I had hoped that Speaker Straus would have taken the time during the very busy special session this summer to read my open letter that I wrote to him in the Texas Tribune. I tweeted him, I emailed him, and I stopped by his office in Austin to make sure he got the message. But he's a busy guy, so I wasn't holding my breath. Looks like he heard us, though, because this (not-a-standard-form) letter came in the mail today:

What Back To School Is Like For Trans Kids

In no particular order, and certainly far from complete, here’s a list of a half-dozen things that parents of trans kids are thinking about when the school year starts, and how teachers, parents of cisgender kids, and friends can be allies. I’m sure we’d all rather be thinking about cool monkey bar tricks on the playground instead — but there’s a lot of work to do, first.