By Mitch Kellaway
Originally published on Advocate.com June 11 2014 4:00 PM ET
Illinois-based transgender teenager Ty Nic recently released a video for his R&B song “Who I Am,” recorded with support from his father, Tim.
In the video, Nic has messages for both youth and adults: Young people know who they are and should feel comfortable and respected when they express themselves.
“You won’t listen, but you wanna give your advice / You say you love me, but you don’t know what I’m feeling,” Nic tells his detractors in the chorus. “Let me paint a better picture for you.”
Shot in front of familiar town locales — including a school, church, and snow-capped trees — the trans teen looks confidently into the camera, singing about his insistence to transition, despite being discouraged by others. He describes changing into boy’s clothing at school, finding it difficult to tell his mother that he wasn’t the girl she’d taught him to be, and not being taken seriously because “people say I’m too young to make decisions.”
If Nic’s father was once one of the adults he’s singing to, the video’s production makes it clear that they’ve worked on establishing a supportive relationship.
“My dad is still learning the pronouns but he gets my name right, and I’m very proud of him,” Nic told the Transgender Law Center.
“I just want my child to be happy,” Tim added. He and his son say they hope the music video inspires other youth to be comfortable with their identities.
Watch “Who I Am” below.