Hillary 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.