Way Back When (Not That Long Ago)
When I was little there were very few, if any, resources available to explain the medical condition of being intersex or transgender to parents or children. My pediatrician told my parents it was a “phase” and later family physicians echoed this. Even the debilitating physical challenges that came with puberty were treated with pain killers of increasing intensity and ultimately birth control, but no one ever thought to look into the root causes. I was unable to articulate what I was feeling, because when I tried to explain “I’m really a boy,” I was met with either dismissive or judgmental answers. So I shut down. Clearly, my feelings were so foreign to everyone around me that there was no way they could possibly understand. This is what I referred to in my first post as “disconnecting” from my body. I essentially went into a state of denial, and didn’t associate my body with me. In my head, I remained a twelve-year-old little boy (emotionally) for the rest of my adolescent years, and completely ignored my developing body, no matter how physically or psychologically painful it became.
I want children today to have a better answer than this denial and this silent agony. I want children, teens, and their parents to have answers that I and my parents didn’t have until I was 21. I also want the world to experience the love of Christ, and I want anyone who interacts with an intersex person to feel love and compassion, not pity, or hatred, or judgment. Finally, I want the world to know what loving and supportive parents can do for a kid’s self-esteem, sense of self-worth, and success in transitioning.
What I’m Doing About It
So I wrote TRANScending Earth for (mainly) teens and their adult supporters, to explain the spirituality and science of being intersex. It goes into philosophy of addiction recovery, parts of which are very applicable to trying to decide if you want to physically transition or not. It goes into how to have a relationship with God, and how keeping God in the center of your life is vital to a healthy transition.
But there was still little, if anything, out there for little children. Kids who are old enough to understand the concept of a girl who “used to be” a boy, or a boy who “used to be” a girl. Kids whose parents or siblings might be transitioning. Kids who themselves are intersex (maybe called “transgender”) and are dealing with the turmoil of gender identity. And parents who have young children in these circumstances.
So I wrote and illustrated Lee Bold for the little ones out there who need a simple but loving explanation of what is going on. Lee Bold is the story of an intersex (“transgender”) eagle who was born with a boy’s brain and a girl’s body. I chose eagles because they symbolize freedom, and Lee’s story is one of parental love and support leading to his ability to spread his wings and soar!
Lee Bold was written and illustrated with Mormon Channel music playing in the background, so that every stroke of my pencil, every click of my mouse on Photoshop, every keystroke on my keyboard, was done in an atmosphere of Christ’s unconditional love. Before submitting it to Amazon for review, I knelt and prayed that it would find its way into the children’s lives who need it, and that it would change hearts and minds.
Just like a book about divorce, or surgery, or another subject difficult to explain to children, I wouldn’t recommend reading this book to children who have not already encountered the gender identity situation. It is designed for children who know someone who is transitioning or who were born intersex, themselves.
Here is the Amazon link.
I hope this post doesn’t come across as me trying to sell the book. That’s not what I’m trying to do. I only want to share with you this endeavor of mine, to spread the love of Christ, the spirit of acceptance and determination, and provide a spiritual resource to little children who were born like me.
This is a preview of Lee Bold.