Browsing through a Queensland, Australia area newspaper recently, you might have run across an unusual birth announcement. It reads:
"A retraction — Bogert
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 Bogert decided to run the birth announcement for her son, 19 years after his birth. The reason? He is a transgender man, and the amazing, light-hearted ad was meant to support him.
Best Birth Announcement ever. Today's CM. What a wonderful family. pic.twitter.com/Zz4NkssKHD— Lisa Dart (@frostyagnes) December 2, 2014
And support him she has. Her son, Kai Bogert, was born the same year my oldest was, and was named Elizabeth Anne at birth. However, female is not the gender he identifies with. Telling his parents was a very brave step to take and their reaction was not only priceless, it was amazing for another reason. Yolanda says that he just told them a few days prior that he no longer wanted to live as a female, and they were able to process that and show support right away. He has yet to explore hormone therapy or gender reassignment surgery, but he told The Courier-Mail, "I am so happy with what she has done. This last week has changed everything for me. I am still me but I am more me than I was a few days ago and feel free."
This heartwarming snippet in a newspaper, just a few sentences long, tells a much bigger story, and it brought tears to my eyes. In his own words, Kai shares what a parent's support can do for someone who doesn't fit into society's mainstream notions of gender, which as we know, can be really difficult to experience. Being a transgender man or woman is poorly understood by many and transgender violence still affects many — according to the Trans Violence Tracking Portal, transpeople are 400 times more likely to experience violence than the rest of the population. Suicide is also a concern, with rates of depression among the transgender population higher than the rest of society.
Loving support starts in the home and means more than you might imagine. Kai's parents are amazing and it's uplifting to see a parent raising up a child instead of tearing them down for simply being who they are.
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