Any child would likely be lucky to have Jeff and Hillary Whittington as parents. Ryland Whittington may be especially lucky. Ryland, the Whittingtons tell us through this amazing video they made, is a transgender boy. Now seven, his parents have documented his story with love and understanding and honesty. Jeff and Hillary tell how they brought Ryland into the world, learned their child needed hearing implants at the age of one, then discovered “Ryland had more to share with us.”
They spent a few years saying Ryland was just going through a phase, but soon realized it wasn’t. “When the family dies, I will cut my hair so I can be a boy” Ryland told them. “Why did God make me this way?,” he asked.
When the Whittingtons learned 41 percent of transgender people have attempted suicide, they decided to embrace Ryland as a boy rather than risk losing him. The Whittingtons made this beautiful and inspiring film for the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast. They posted it to YouTube on Tuesday. Three days later, it has gone viral, seen by more than 350,000 people already.
“We are overwhelmed with the kind, loving messages from many people,” the Whittingtons told The Huffington Post. “While this journey has been difficult at times, we have come to a place where our family is ready to come out and try to help other families facing similar situations. Our hope is that by sharing our story, we can begin to make the world a more loving place where people can be their authentic selves.”
PS: The video might not be available in Germany, if you want to see it anyway you could try a plugin like ProxTube for Firefox (let us know in the comments if you know an easier way, thanks!)