Inspiring Parents Honor Their 5-Year-Old Daughter's Desire to Be Who She Is -- a Boy (VIDEO)

ryland whittingtonHillary and Jeff Whittington, parents from San Diego, California, were honored this week at the 6th Annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast for helping their child transition from female to male at just 5 years old. At the breakfast, they shared a video that documents their journey with their child, Ryland Whittington, who was born a girl in 2008.   

Ryland suffered severe hearing problems when she was just 12 months old and was fitted with cochlear implants. And as soon as she got the operation and learned how to speak, she declared to her parents, "I am a boy." Although this could've been easily blown off as a "phase," Jeff and Hillary realized Ryland's feeling that she was a he only got stronger with time. When Ryland reportedly told her parents, "When the family dies, I will cut my hair so I could be a boy. Why did God make me like this?" they came to a conclusion with the help of experts: Ryland is transgender.

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Faced with a horrifying statistic from The Williams Institute that 41 percent of transgender people have attempted suicide due to lack of social acceptance, they knew they could not take that risk and something had to be done. So they let Ryland be ... himself. ASAP.

Jeff and Hillary sent out a letter to friends and family informing them of the change, changed all pronouns referring to their child from "she" to "he," cut Ryland's hair, and redecorated his bedroom. Now, Ryland is the happiest he's ever been. It absolutely breaks your heart to think the reality he would have faced had his parents not supported his identity.

Whether by pushing their child to play a musical instrument or a sport, or identify as a boy or a girl, parents all too often want their children to be who they want them to be. But how incredible and inspiring it is that the Whittingtons not only accepted but embraced letting their son be who he IS. After all, shouldn't our job be to raise our kids to be their best version of themselves?

Here's the beautiful, heart-rending video of their story, guaranteed to make you tear up ...

What's your take on Ryland's story? What would you have done if you were in Jeff and Hillary's shoes?

 

Image via TheWhittingtonFamily/YouTube

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