The 13-year-old handed his mother a booklet filled with drawings and hilarious notes to let her know he's trans.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 14, 2021. It has since been updated.
Even as a spate of anti-trans bills are being presented in state legislatures across the United States, there are countless stories of love and acceptance that give us hope every day. Writer Amanda Mancino-Williams shared a beautiful story of how her 13-year-old came out as trans to her. It wasn't just that he came out to her but the manner in which he did it. The 13-year-old drew a booklet filled with images and elaborate illustrations, and puns to tell his mom about his identity. Mancino-Williams shared the booklet of drawings with Twitter, writing, “Got a note from my 13yo tonight, under the door, like they always did when there was something important to say.”
The 13-year-old was labeled a girl at birth but identified as a boy. The teenager used "dot-er" as a pun for the word "daughter", and "sun", as a pun for the word "son." He came out to his mother using the puns."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," he wrote in the note. You can see the beautiful booklet here:
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
Mancino-Williams said her 13-year-old son wanted her to share the story on Twitter to encourage others to express themselves. "This is a fantastic gift for all of us. And, he wanted me to share to inspire others to be themselves," wrote Mancino-Williams.
LET'S CRY TOGETHER🥰🌞— Amanda Mancino-Williams (@Manda_like_wine) December 22, 2020
Your son is punnier and funnier than me. Don’t ever let that change. You must be a great mom if he can talk to you openly like that too. My mom would’ve torn it to shreds and said I killed her and her “daughter” publicly.— Cass (Simp Bizkit) (@casscois) December 21, 2020
She thanked everyone for the kind messages. "Just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have reached out with words of delight and support and kindness. We've been reading through them together and it's been a morning of a thousand smiles. Love to you all," wrote Mancino-Williams. Not every trans kid gains the acceptance that the 13-year-old has, and we can only hope this inspires other parents in similar situations to accept them.
the only appropriate response to this is to go serenade them with 'you are my sunshine', right? (also, this is an amazing and brilliant little booklet, I wish I had come out so creatively)— charlie mills (@ctmpoet) December 21, 2020
This is 100% heartwarming and 100% lovely and indeterminably funny. Different kids have different ways of expressing themselves, and he put his entire heart into that book. Someday, your son will look back and realize it’s 0% cringe, IMO. 💙💗🤍💗💙— Richard Shifman (YA: R.B. Shifman) (@rshifman) December 21, 2020
Brandon Boulware, a business lawyer from Missouri opened up about the tough time he had accepting his transgender daughter. Boulware spoke about it during a meeting of the Missouri state House as the state lawmakers prepared to pass a resolution that would ban transgender high school athletes from participating in girls' sports in Missouri. "For years, I would not let my daughter wear girl clothes. I did not let her play with girl toys," said Boulware, reported PEOPLE. "I forced my daughter to wear boy clothes and get short haircuts and play on boys' sports teams," he added. Boulware said he was afraid other kids would tease his children but he admitted he was also protecting himself. "I wanted to avoid those inevitable questions as to why my child not look and act like a boy," he said. His refusal to accept her had made his daughter miserable. "I cannot overstate that. She was absolutely miserable. Especially at school — no confidence, no friends, no laughter," he said.
The gravity of the issue hit home one day. "I had gotten home from work, and my daughter and her brother were in the front lawn and she had sneaked on one of her older sister's play dresses. And they wanted to go across the street and play with the neighbor's kids ... I said no," said Boulware. "She asked me if she went inside and put on boy clothes, could she then go across the street and play. And it was then that it hit me. My daughter was equating being good with being someone else."
Boulware got emotional at the meeting and said he started to accept his child is trans. The change in her was immediate. He pleaded with the committee to put an end to the resolution that would end his daughter's chances of continuing on the women's volleyball team. "Let them have their childhoods. Let them be who they are. I ask you to vote against this legislation," he concluded.