Rainbow Rant: Dear trans kids, we love you

There is nothing about you that is worthy of the hate currently being directed at you by Texas lawmakers

Joy Ellison
A protester holds up a sign as a a rally for trans rights passes in front of the Texas Capitol in Downtown Austin, Texas on Feb. 27, 2022.

I see it in the glow of your eyes. I hear it in the confident timbre of your voice. I feel it when I hear you laugh, watch you run around the room and listen to you tell me about all your big, bold dreams for our tired, broken world. 

What I see in you, the thing that radiates from your heart and through your body, is the rightness that comes from being exactly who you are, exactly what you are supposed to be. 

Trans kids, I want you to know that I love you, for all that you are and all that you will become. 

The voices of trans adults such as me are suspiciously lacking in coverage of trans issues. It’s funny how the media rarely wants to talk to us except in the earliest days of our transitions. It’s probably because as adults we are difficult to control, even if we’re still easy to bully. I’m happy living outside in the media spotlight, but I worry that you might not know how important you are to adult trans people.

To us, you are hope. You are healing. You are the future for which we have fought.

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I don’t have to tell you that not everyone loves you, or me either. In Texas, selfish and misguided lawmakers are trying to scare you and your families into hiding. Ten states have already passed bills to restrict trans kids like you from playing sports. These laws are petty and dangerous, and I cannot explain to you why politicians are doing this. Cynical self-interest plays a role, certainly, and some lawmakers are ignorant enough to believe they are acting on your behalf. But this is hatred, plain and simple, and for that I have no explanation. 

There is nothing about you that is worthy of hate.

You are remarkable. You have the self-awareness to know who you truly are and the courage to speak it. That ability is special; most people don’t gain it until much later in life. Chances are good you’ve already pulled off a feat that your parents and teachers are still struggling to master. You beat me to it, that’s for certain, and I see you as a miracle.

In claiming your gender, whether you can fully actualize it now or must wait a little while longer, you bestow a gift on the world. You’re giving this gift first to yourself; don’t ever forget that you are always the most important recipient of that treasure. But as you move toward gender euphoria, you loosen the grip of coercive gender on all of us. 

Through your gender journey, you are healing your family in ways you can’t understand now and may never fully know. In fact, I hope that this truth stays just out of sight, too far away for you to see without squinting, because it isn’t an easy one to face. But let me assure you that because of you, your loved ones will breathe more easily. By being yourself, you give them permission to do the same. 

You should be thanked, not terrorized. 

Trans kids, you may have to hide parts of yourself sometimes; I’m too old and too trans and too honest not to admit that. Your first responsibility is to survive and sometimes that means terrible but temporary compromises. Have no shame doing whatever it takes to stay with us. You are too precious to lose. 

We’re ready to fight alongside you, because we know that youth are always at the front of our struggles. I wish it weren’t like that and maybe someday it won’t be. But until then, trans adults are here for you. Find us. 

And until you do, know that we love you.