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Mom apologizes for misgendering trans son during childhood in newspaper ad and it is so wholesome

The mother-child duo has now published a book called 'How I Met My Son: A Story That Transcends Gender'

Mom apologizes for misgendering trans son during childhood in newspaper ad and it is so wholesome
Cover Image Source: (L) Facebook/Yolanda Plane; (R) Twitter/@DGComedy

When Kai Bogert came out to his mother Yolanda Bogert, her response was one for the times. She placed a retraction for her birth announcement in the Courier Mail in December 2014. The announcement read, “A retraction: In 1995 we announced the arrival of our sprogget, Elizabeth Anne, as a daughter. He informs us that we were mistaken. Oops! Our bad. We would now like to present, our wonderful son — Kai Bogert. Loving you is the easiest thing in the world. Tidy your room.”



Yolanda's parenting style raised the bar for many across the world because her story garnered international attention. The mother-child duo has now published a book called "How I Met My Son: A Story That Transcends Gender." Yolanda was a teenage mother. She thinks it has helped her form a very close-knit bond with both her children. "I never felt grown up. I still don't," she said to ABC Australia, chuckling.

In an interview with Herald Sun, Yolanda shares how she got the idea for the ad. "I was torn between not wanting to make a big deal of Kai’s coming out — I didn’t think there should be anything abnormal about it — and wanting to commemorate that something special had happened," she said. "He’d done something so courageous and taken a huge step towards his own fulfillment and happiness, and that sort of thing warrants at least marking, if not a parade and fanfare. I wanted to borrow a normal milestone commemoration and tweak it to fit."



Yolanda thinks that the newspaper retraction idea was exactly what she wanted because she wanted to acknowledge "that there wasn’t anything wrong with Kai, and also emphasize that "he’d just been ignorantly mislabelled before we understood — before we could understand — that he might not be so happy about being carved up to fit into the boxes in everybody else’s heads."

Young Kai was confused as to how he felt. At first, he thought it is too real. He is not very extroverted, and being in the paper made him feel "cringe." He said, "I wasn’t sure how to feel about it until that afternoon when the newspaper lady called to say that they’d had such a great response to the birth notice that she wanted to do a story about it in the next day’s paper. People were OK, even happy to see it — this was nice to hear, because that made it OK for me too."



Kai said he feels good to have been able to spread the message of acceptance. "The experience was a mixture of good and bad but mostly good. Some of the messages were from other trans kids who could relate, and others were from parents of trans kids. I loved hearing that — because they’d seen our story — things were going to be a little easier for them. That made me feel awesome," he shares. 

The fact that Kai came out didn't alter Yolanda's opinion of him. He continued to be the same teen who would figure out how to get out of cleaning his room, just like the day before. She was perplexed by all the commotion as the world referred to her mother as "inspiring" and an amazing legend. "It should be that the world goes crazy and wants to know why a parent has shunned their kid, not why a parent accepts it," she said. "It just made no sense to us."



One of her biggest regrets is the plethora of articles on her transgender teen that can be found online with an easy search. "I think anyone who googles and then has a problem with that, that's their loss, not Kai's. I would hope that future employers don't have a problem with it and things like that. You worry about that too. I just feel like he doesn't get to be private anymore."



Kai is still perplexed as to why the story initially went viral. Yet, he doesn't hold his mother responsible for making his story public. "I know that mum beats herself up about outing me to the world and I know that she would probably like to turn back time, but I'm OK with it. Even though being thrust into the spotlight isn't really the funniest thing I can think of, so much good has come from it, that I can't bring myself to regret it."

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