Moms of Trans Youth are Changing the World

On July 12, 2010, I did a presentation for the City of Topeka Human Relations Commission for the purpose of getting them to do a town hall meeting on what it means to be transgender. On Aug. 2, I did that town hall meeting with an amazing man named Matthew Blankers and Matthew’s mom.
    This was 12 days before the founding of K-STEP. A thought went through my head, as I watched Matthew’s mom share about coming to the realization that when Matthew had come out as trans, she had to choose between her child’s well-being, and her faith. She chose her child. And the thought that went through my head was a simple one, There is no force on the planet more powerful than a mother’s love.
    Both of Matthew’s parents have become amazing advocates for equality rights for trans and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people. Both of them have come to a different realization about their faith - that loving their child unconditionally is informed by their faith.
    Over the years, I have seen the power of moms in creating change for TGNC youth. The organization Trans Youth Family Allies (TYFA) was formed by moms. They have made a difference in the lives of thousands and thousands of gender non-conforming kids.
    Nicole Nesmith is the mom of the TGNC youth, and there is no one I know more impassioned than Nicole when it comes to fighting, giving love to, and being there for anyone who is in need of her particular kind of power. She is the adult advisor for Beacon Youth Group in Topeka and is involved beyond involved.
    Moms of TGNC youth have made huge differences in Roeland Park and Manhattan as these two cities have added protections for LGBT citizens. That, is the amazing power I am talking about.
    I have seen moms across the state make extraordinarily difficult choices so they can support their child’s authenticity. I have seen moms stand up to the bullies who stand in the way of love, doing what they do best, creating an undeniable message that this is not about bathrooms or religious beliefs - it is about whether or not you are going to love your child.
    So as I travel the state and the country and do what I can to stand up for TGNC youth, I share my story and give my well-polished presentation, and I know that it is making a difference.
    That said, there is no force on the planet more powerful than a mother’s love, especially when that love is for their trans and gender non-conforming child.
    If you are one of the people who are standing in the way of truth and justice for TGNC youth -  if I were you - I’d get out of the way. You got nothing that can stand up to these moms who are fighting to create a different world for their children. l

StephanieMott-7Stephanie Mott is a transgender woman from Topeka. She is the executive director of the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, and a commissioner on the City of Topeka Human Relations Commission. Reach her at [email protected]

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