WATCH: Parents Exude Pride in Trans Sons

Two transgender men and their families reflect on how transitioning can happen to more than one's gender.

BY Mitch Kellaway

June 10 2014 5:45 AM ET

Two San Francisco families have something to be extra proud about this Pride season: their happy, thriving transgender sons.

In a recent clip from the Oprah Winfrey Network's Our America, journalist Lisa Ling introduces viewers to Ty, Landon, and their parents in a series about families with transgender loved ones. Ling began profiling the two young men three years ago when they were at the beginning of their medical transitions. In this follow-up segment, she joins them at their local Pride parade as they reflect on the growth their families have experienced.

It’s become apparent that over the intervening years, Ty and Landon’s parents have moved beyond simply accepting their sons’ gender identities to becoming overjoyed and inspired as they witness gender transition within the larger processes of becoming a successful young adult. 

Ling also asks a difficult question: While transition can mean a certain “freedom” for transgender people, what what does it mean for their parents?

Viewers learn from Kim, Ty’s mother, that the answer can often be an evolving one. She discusses how at first she struggled with feelings of loss over no longer having a “daughter.” But “today,” Ling points out, “there’s a lightness in Kim. “She has transitioned too.”

The video shows that while parents can help transgender children become “who they truly are,” trans children can do the same for their parents through a simultaneous movement towards authenticity. “You’ve always known who you are,” concludes a tearful Kim, looking at Ty as they sit beside the Pride festivities. “The man you have become … is why I’ve quit my job and gone back to school. You have inspired me so much.” His smile says the rest. 

Watch the video below. 

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