By Mitch Kellaway
Originally published on Advocate.com July 26 2014 3:04 PM ET
Being transgender and an active, accepted member of the Mormon Church? For one Utah family, this isn't the contradiction it may first appear to be.
Grayson Allgood — a self-described "sheltered, Utah Mormon boy" — and his mother Neca, were recently profiled by Equality Utah for their "We Are Utah" series.
Keeping largely to home and church, Grayson's story of self-discovery is unlike that of many youth who knew they were transgender long before discussing it with their parents: his mother was the one to first realize he was trans.
Observing his "crippling" gender-based anxiety and frequent emotional "crashes," by the time her son was 16, Neca finally consulted with doctors and could come to only one conclusion: Grayson should be given the option of transition.
In the video below, she poignantly recalls how after they discussed her revelation, "I assumed [Grayson] would say 'I have a boy brain.' But he didn't. He said 'I have a boy's soul.'
"When he said that, it struck me so deeply. I knew that was his truth, and that we needed to make sure he could live as who he truly was."
Today, Grayson and Neca report that going through his transition together has deepened their already strong faith.
Happily, the teen's devastating "crashes" have disappeared and he has been able to refocus on schoolwork thanks to an administration dedicated to modeling acceptance for their student body. His local Mormon leaders have embraced him, and he's returned to his favorite pastime: singing in the choir.
Watch their story below.