In a little book to mom Amanda Mancino-Williams, her teenager came out to her about his trans identity.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 23, 2020. It has since been updated.
The holidays can be a difficult time of year, particularly for children who feel uncomfortable living with their families. Of course, while some of us are thankful to spend the holidays with our family after a tough 2020, others may feel even more suffocated during this season. Therefore, it is heartwarming to see a teenager feel comfortable enough to share a heartwarming gift with his parents. Yes, parents (or Santa!) are usually the ones giving gifts, but this 13-year-old decided to give back to his parents in 2020. His mom Amanda Mancino-Williams, a freelance writer, shared his gift with the world in a now-viral Twitter thread.
She wrote, "[I] got a note from my 13-year-old tonight, under the door, like they always did when there was something important to say." She posted a photo in addition to the tweet. The photo displayed an "extremely cringe little book" for her son to tell her something. The following pages included drawings of a daughter, intended as a pun for the word "dot-er," and a sun, a pun for the word "son." The little one explained, "I was originally expected to be an artist who specialized in pointillism, but I have discovered that being a ball of gas suits me better."
Got a note from my 13yo tonight, under the door, like they always did when there was something important to say. pic.twitter.com/m0T1brDKcO— Amanda Mancino-Williams (@Manda_like_wine) December 20, 2020
This was Mancino-Williams's son's way of telling her he is trans. He used the wonderfully intellectual puns to do so. On the last page of the book, he affirmed in his conclusion that he was a trans boy and that he was "very cringey." Though we are sure of the former, we are not so sure of the latter. This is perhaps the most intelligent way a 13-year-old has ever come out to their parents. His mother, who was more than happy to receive his coming out book, shared in a follow-up tweet, "This is a fantastic gift for all of us. And, he wanted me to share to inspire others to be themselves."
Mancino-Williams's tweet soon went viral, with hundreds of folks sending in their best wishes. "Just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have reached out with words of delight and support and kindness," she responded. "We've been reading through them together and it's been a morning of a thousand smiles. Love to you all." Perhaps we can only hope that other young boys like her son feel comfortable enough to be themselves with their respective families until then.
The holidays are particularly hard for trans youth. Family acceptance is especially important during this season, a time when the focus on gathering, community, and family is greater than other periods of the year. Unfortunately, not everyone will have loving families to celebrate the season with. If you would like to help trans youth feel more accepted, you can be a trans child's Santa! TranSanta, an initiative started by Pose star Indya Moore, is a way for do-gooders to give gifts to trans youth in need. You can make someone's Christmas by visiting the project's Instagram profile here.