22 October 2008

Unabashed Queers of the Week: Eight year-old Brandon/Bridget Simms and his mother, Tina

He spoke his first full sentence at a local Italian restaurant: “I like your high heels,” he told a woman in a fancy red dress.

The November 2008 issue of The Atlantic features a fascinating article by Hanna Rosin about the growing number of transgender children, some of whom are transitioning before puberty. The touching article is centered around eight-year-old Brandon and his mother, Tina, a courageous woman, who, in the face of much adversity, is determined to allow her child to grow up in a gratifying, unabashed way. The Simms' do not live in Manhattan and Tina does not have a degree from Brown in sociology. They live in a double-wide trailer in a "small southern town...where confederate flags line the main street," and Tina used to operate heavy machinery in the army. I thought growing up in metropolitan Atlanta with a basket-case mother was difficult.

Rosin follows the Simms', including Brandon's step-father, Bill, to a conference in Pennsylvania for transgender children and their families where Bill and Tina buy Brandon a two-piece bathing suit for a pool party. Two months after the conference, Rosin checks in on Brandon who is now going by "Bridget," and Tina, who has given away all of his boy clothes, is complying. Brandon's ears are pierced and his hair is slowly growing out. “If it doesn’t move any faster, I’ll have to get [Brandon/Bridget] extensions!” Tina says.

That's a good mother.


andalusian said...

I want a tranny baby, dammit! The mother is amazing but in reality I'm scared for the kid growing up around that bullshit. She is going to have to break balls.

The Unabashed Queer said...

I knowwwww. I would totally nurture my trans baby's gender identity. "You CAN have a barbie, yes you can, yes you can." I have a feeling Bridget is going to start taking hormones pre-puberty and will be able to pass easily by the time any male traits would have taken place. I would probably relocate a few towns away so she could start her life as Bridget anew.