Blogs & Columns
8 min

The family that transitions together, stays together

Born a deaf baby girl, Ryland Whittington overcame his impediment and can now hear and speak. 

As soon as he could talk he began declaring, “I am a boy.”

His parents, Jeff and Hillary Whittington, initially thought Ryland was a tomboy going through a phase — but phases end.

They started to take their five-year-old’s gender-identity struggle seriously when he began to ask, “Why did God make me like this?” and to insist, “When the family dies, I’m going to cut my hair so I can be a boy.”

After doing some research, they were shocked to discover that 41 percent of trans people have attempted suicide and sought professional help to decide how best to go forward.

This is a video of a family transitioning together and was shown before the Whittingtons were honoured at the sixth annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast in San Diego last Thursday: