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Friendsfamily 250When my oldest child informed me that she was transgender, I cried. I was confused. I didn’t even know where to turn to talk to anyone, because I knew my church wasn’t prepared to touch the issue. So I started praying and reading.

It’s been a couple of years now. My daughter Amy is happier than she ever was during her years of living as a boy. Her teenage siblings accepted her without question; their oldest sibling was simply "regenerating" like in Dr. Who—the same person inside with a different outside. 

love first love always

I didn’t have any relationships with transgender persons prior to my daughter. I was ignorant of trans issues. I can’t say I understand what it is to be transgender, but I also don’t understand what it is to be Asian or Black. I don’t have to understand to love and accept.

I now fight for transgender rights, for basic human rights and acceptance, and I attempt to educate those people who are ignorant of the challenges facing transgender individuals. My daughter is beautiful, kind, generous, and strong. I love her dearly, and I encourage other families to accept and love the LGBTQIA humans in their lives. 

Considering transgender individuals have a suicide rate TEN TIMES that of the general population, I’d much rather accept a transgender daughter than bury a cisgender son. My family and friends, my Lord and His ways: these are at the heart of who I am.

Bekki Ortiz

Journey - Chapter 14
Journey - Chapter 13