The father of a five-year-old gender-fluid child is sharing his story online to help others discuss issues around gender.
Dad-of-four, Cody Hickman, from Colorado, USA, was inspired to post his thoughts on Facebook after gender issues became the focus of his studies at law school – as well as an important part of his family life.
In a poignant and honest post, Hickman explained the journey he and his family have taken, in the hope of educating others who may be ‘offended’ by gender-variance.
‘In truth, the realization that one of my children identifies with a gender that is opposite the sex she was born with was, and remains, absolutely unremarkable,’ he explained.
‘That is to say, I was not bothered, disappointing [sic], or unhappy in the least, to learn that my kiddo had always felt like she was a girl, despite being born a boy.’
Hickman’s daughter, who is now called Enna, started to show an interest in sparkly shoes and dresses from a young age.
She started to dress in girls’ clothes all the time, explaining to her parents that although everyone thought she was a boy, because she was born looking like a boy, she had always been a girl – and she ‘wasn’t mad’ at her parents for not knowing.
‘There have been a few times when I wished that this was just a phase,’ he said.
‘Not because I care that my boy is now a girl. Certainly not because I don’t accept this.
‘Rather, simply because I want to protect my children from the bad parts of life, and being bullied, or not accepted, is one of the worst parts of life.
‘However, it didn’t take long for me to get past that, because no matter how uncomfortable I am with the idea that my children might be singled out for something, and picked on, I will never feel as uncomfortable as a child who is not allowed to be herself.’
He continued: ‘Children like her are so tuned in to what people think that they already isolate themselves, and family support is sometimes the only thing that gives them hope.
‘Also, if you could have just seen the change that came over her when she was wearing the clothes she felt comfortable in… it was amazing.’
While many social media users would encourage those who disagree with them to ‘defriend’ or unfollow, Hickman has taken a much more noble approach in the hope of helping people understand.
‘I want you to see my child as I do,’ he said.
‘See pictures of her smiling like the world has no gravity. See how lovely she looks in a sparkly dress. See how perfect she is.
‘Then I want you to notice that all of my children look that way. So do yours. They are too young to be malicious, or contrived.
They simply exist, and when we allow them to exist as they really are, they are happier than anything you will see in an adult.
‘I don’t ever want the light that beams from my children’s eyes extinguished.’
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