A family from Texas held a stunning "gender reveal" party for their 6-year-old transgender daughter and the pictures are truly beautiful.
Keep scrolling to read about their story...
Let's start with the facts...What exactly is gender dysphoria? Gender dysphoria involves a conflict between a person's sex and the gender with which he or she identifies with. People with gender dysphoria experience high levels of discomfort with their own bodies, and they often report feeling as if it isn't their own.
It is more commonly known as being "transgender."People who are transgender more than often realize that they are from a very young age - children are able to experience gender dysphoria and this is when the majority of trans people realize this conflict.
It is a heartbreaking reality that many trans children face rejection from their families.According to the Human Rights Campaign, studies have shown that familial rejection can lead to the LGBTQ+ youth engaging in behaviors and activities that endanger their health, trigger depression, and other mental health issues, and, in some extreme cases, can lead to homelessness and suicide.
Family support is one of the most important things for a child coming out as trans.Child welfare expert, Caitlin Ryan, stated that “family acceptance predicts greater self-esteem, social support, and general health status," for LGBTQ+ youth. “It also protects against depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation and behaviors - issues for which transgender youth are at disproportionate risk."
Coming out as transgender and beginning the transition will never be easy...Despite this being what a person desires, the first few steps into transition are never easy, especially for a child. Enduring taunting in the school corridors from their peers who are too uninformed to understand the situation is a sad reality for many trans children.
Thankfully, the LGBTQ+ community is bigger than ever today.There are countless organizations around the world that work hard together purely to support people, especially children, of the transgender community.
Families around the world are now more accepting than ever...And one family recently did a very important thing to support their transgender daughter.
Julie and Daniel Hindsley, who are from Texas, are the proud parents to their 2 children...
via: FacebookThey have a son, Grant, and a daughter, Ella.
Ella came to be aware that she was a girl at a very young age.
via: FacebookAnd we're living for her strong sense of self.
Julie spoke of the family's journey...
via: FacebookSpeaking with CafeMom, Julie said that, ever since her daughter could start expressing herself, "she was always drawn to anything feminine."
From a young age, Ella would enjoy dressing in her mom's shoes and clothes...
via: Facebook"When she was 2 she would wear a towel on her head and call it her 'giraffe hair,'" Julie explained. "We were convinced it was either a phase or we were likely going to have a gay son."
But this wasn't a phase.
via: FacebookWhen Ella was around 3-years-old, she approached her mom upset and said, "I want to be a girl Mom! Just make me a girl!" Julie allowed her to grow her hair, and she recalled, "As she was growing out her hair she would say things like 'when I'm a sister ...,' 'when my hair is long and I am a girl'."
The comments about being a girl didn't stop...
via: FacebookAnd things began to get complicated when Ella started school. "Her whole life had been a constant compromise, 'you can play with dolls here, but you can't take them out in public. You can wear that dress in the house, but you can't wear it if we leave,'" Julie remembers.
The parents decided to seek help, for both themselves and for Ella.
via: FacebookWhen they realized that their daughter was transgender, a therapist recommended that the parents transition Ella socially as soon as possible "as they have found that affirming [transgender kids'] identity is the best possible thing for them."
They immediately began socially transitioning Ella...
via: FacebookAnd they will hold off from using hormone blockers until Ella is a teenager. The parents then fought Ella's school "over her hair" and once they'd won they sat down her principal and her school counselor with another change. The parents told them that they planned on fully transitioning Ella's pronouns and name over the summer because they felt that it would be too much to ask Ella's school and classmates to get on board with the plan in the middle of the school year.
The social transition went well for Ella...
via: FacebookAnd even though Julie kept a lot of her old boys' clothes in case she wants to wear them, she hasn't touched them since. "Pretty much all of our family have been supportive, and a few we had to spend some extra time with explaining things."
After Julie explained her story on Facebook back in February, photographer Heather Harris Witt reached out.
via: FacebookHeather has a gay son herself and approached Julie to see if Ella would want to do a "gender reveal" photoshoot to raise awareness about their story. "I said yes of course as coming from a very conservative town with little to no support here, I know how huge it is to spread that awareness," she said.
The photoshoot didn't happen until May due to the pandemic...
via: Heather Harris WittBut it was totally worth the wait for the family, as you can see.
Julie decided to hold off sharing her photos due to the tragic death of George Floyd that happened shortly before the shoot took place.
via: Heather Harris Witt"I have no idea what it is like to be a person of color, but I can imagine the hurt that some of the black mama's are feeling right now," she wrote. "I will never know the struggles they have to go through, but I do know what it is like to have a child that is seen as different, or less human even."
The photos truly demonstrate how happy Ella is now that she is her true self.
via: Heather Harris WittBut Julie explained how they have to often explain to Ella that she wasn't a mistake. "She tells me constantly that people just don't understand that she is a girl or that she is Ella and not Easton. And oh how I break and wish I never had to have these conversations with my 6-year-old."
Julie added that she knows gender reveals are often criticized by the transgender community...
via: Heather Harris WittShe explained that the tradition both relies on antiquated definitions of gender and "exhausted gendered symbols and codes." "Gender reveals are only able to be celebrations because people continue to attach such intense emotional significance to gender," she said.
The family felt this was the right move...
via: Heather Harris Witt"For a lot of parents, having a boy means something holistically, seismically different from having a girl. In this paradigm, biology, not culture or behavior, determines personality type. Parents pass down their gendered expectations onto their children," she added.
The photoshoot was an opportunity to mourn the loss of their son...
via: Heather Harris WittBut it was also an opportunity to celebrate the daughter they have gained.
Julie explained how she had to grieve for Easton to fully accept Ella's transition.
via: Heather Harris Witt"You grieve the son that you had at the dreams that you had for them. You grieve the plans you had for their future, knowing that they are going to be taking a much more difficult journey," she said. But this wasn't about her, she explained, it was about Ella and her happiness.
Julie's daughter has blossomed since her transition began...
via: FacebookAnd we wish the family all the happiness in the world in going forward with Ella's new life.