Trans Visibility

Wren Kauffman

Words every transgender child dreams of hearing from their mother is, "I love you whether you're a boy or a girl and I understand now. And we'll figure out how we can help you. And we'll do it together." These are the words that Wren Kauffman (2003-) a thirteen-year-old transgender boy, heard spoken from his supportive mother. Today, closet doors swing open without much attention for gays; however, the closet doors for transgender individuals tends to creep open at a much slower rate. Why? One of the biggest deterrents is the lack of support by family members, especially parents. Parents of transgender individuals struggle with supporting their transgender children due to lack of education and resources on the topic. Kauffman's mother has now become a trans-activist and a role model for other parents of transgender children. She states, "We have gone public and been in the media this year so that others going through the same situation know they're not alone." It was Wren's decision to live his truth publically first, and his family followed his lead.

Wren came out to his classmates in elementary school. During "circle time" in his fifth grade classroom, students share stories and/or "happenings" about themselves. Wren shared with his classmates his true gender identity and has lived unapologetically ever since. In fact, he has become a public figure and advocate in his home country of Canada. Due to his young age, his physician closely monitors Wren. He currently is on hormone blockers, and at sixteen, he will be able to start male hormone injections. The legal age for gender reassignment surgery is eighteen.

Wren has a small digital "tattoo" on Facebook, and he is taking his time navigating cultural participation media sites. He states, "People tease me right now and I can handle it. The way that I like to look at it is that they're just practice for the real jerks in life." We all know there are many "jerks" on social media sites: a.k.a TROLLS! The Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) reported startling statistics about LGBT online bullying and harassing in 2013. The article states, "Out Online reveals that LGBT youth are more likely than non-LGBT youth to be bullied or harassed online (42% vs. 15%)."

Certainly we can understand the important of education when it comes to education our youth on the pros and cons of the digital world; however, it is particularly important to educate and guide our LGBT youth. Wren has a very fun and positive Facebook page! Check him out and follow him on Facebook to learn more about him!

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