Now Reading
Parents of trans children share their stories about social media

Parents of trans children share their stories about social media

Renée Fabish was the proud Australian mom who didn’t want her son to become a ‘statistic’, and her video calling for greater acceptance of transgender children quickly went viral.

Through this video, which has now amassed over seven million views on Facebook, more parents of transgender children have decided to share their experiences.

BBC Trending spoke to other parents about their experiences of raising transgender children, particularly the influence of social media.

‘I think videos like that have both a positive and negative effect,’ says one woman.

‘I think they’re really wonderful for families who are looking for other families like them. But on the other hand I do worry a little bit about putting, especially videos and pictures, out publicly of the child. Because there might come a point in that child’s life where they don’t want to be known as the transgender person anymore.

‘I think there’s a sense that we don’t want to hide, we want to be ashamed, we don’t want our children to feel ashamed and I think that’s a really positive change, I just worry about making that decision for a young kid.’

Others agree the visibility of trans people on social media is important.

‘It’s really important that, certainly for young trans people, they are seeing other trans people like them out there online, in the visible world,’ says Jay Stewart from Gendered Intelligence.

‘We’re seeing more and more positive response and we think that’s fantastic,’ says Jennie Kermode from Trans Media Watch.

‘Unfortunately, there are some people who make very nasty comments.’

One mother points out YouTube stars such as Jazz Jennings, whose videos have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times online, are great role models for young trans people. However, ignorant and hurtful comments which are often left on social media worried her.

‘She really seemed to identify with Jazz. When I went to check the videos on YouTube, the comments on the videos are disturbing. I find it very difficult to understand how people can direct so much hate at a child,’ she says.

Fabish also talks about how she feels sharing such stories can help change the world in a positive way.

‘I’ve had people come to me and say ‘‘you shouldn’t have put it out there’’, my feeling is you have to share your story. There’s not going to be a change unless we make one,’ she says.

Watch the video below.