A mother of two from Vancouver, Canada, shared her thoughts about parenting, considering flexibility as one of her greatest assets.
That was proven true when Anne Bruin’s then three-year-old son, Ryder, began asking for dresses and pigtails.
Now at nine-years-old, Ryder and Anne bared it all as the latter wrote her experience in raising a transgender daughter.
“At first, I thought ‘it’s just a phase’ because that’s what people kept saying,” said Anne in an interview.
“You hear that a lot from people. Kids go through phases, sure. There’s the toddler rant phase and the teenage phase, but beyond that, there’s something deeper. When Ryder wanted to wear dresses and ponytails to preschool, I let her because it made her happy. I told her people might think it strange, but that she was going to be their teacher and show them it’s OK for people to wear what they want and be happy.”
On an opinion article she wrote for CBC, she shared how her family knew Ryder did not fit the mold, as he would pull out his sister’s clothes and had always wanted to wear them.
“At three, he wanted to grow his hair out. He went to preschool with dresses and pigtails. When the other kids were confused, Ryder just shrugged,” she wrote.
“He didn’t feel the need to explain himself and we followed his lead.”
By the time Ryder had to go to kindergarten, Anne told the school about his situation, and the school “knew exactly what to do.”
Anne pointed out that we are living in a different world now – most people have come to learn, accept and understand transgender children.
Their household had switched to using female pronouns and makes sure they introduce Ryder as one of her daughters – never using the word “transgender”.
If people around Ryder falter, “She just rolls with the punches.”