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Nevada political commentator Jon Ralston has written a touching tribute to his transgender son, who has just gone through a legal name change.
"When Maddy Ralston came into this world almost 21 years ago, it was love at first sight," Ralston wrote in a blog post published on his Ralston Reports website Monday. "I cradled her in my arms, my adopted miracle, and couldn't stop crying. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen."
As Maddy grew up, the child had no taste for "the traditional girly girl stuff," Ralston continued, noting that Maddy once told him, "If you get me a doll for Christmas, I'll cut its head off."
Ralston figured Maddy was simply a tomboy, and later thought maybe she was a lesbian. (His post uses female pronouns for his child pre-transition, male ones after.) He was even doubtful a few years ago when she told him her true gender was male, thinking she was just going through a phase.
"Slowly but surely, I have come to not just accept it but to embrace it," wrote Ralston, who is pictured at left with Maddy. "I have learned a lot about transgender issues through my job. I have read a bit. But I don't want to talk about bathrooms or locker rooms. I don't want to debate the public policy issues in North Carolina or whether the president was right to sue. There will be plenty of time for that. My first instinct, as ever, has been to protect my child, to make sure Maddy is safe and happy. That's all most parents ever want for their children." While there is much anti-transgender sentiment in the world, all but the "hateful" people will come around, Ralston predicted.
Maddy, who has been taking testosterone for six months, went before a judge Monday in Clark County, Nev., for a legal name change and new birth certificate. "After the hearing, when it was finally real, when he called me, I don't think I have ever heard my kid sound so happy," wrote Ralston, who was away from Nevada on business. "And he wanted the story told."
"This is not only something that would be good for us as a family, but this is something that would be good for everyone out there who might think they are alone in this," the newly named Jake Ralston, pictured at right, told The Washington Post about his father's blog post. "He has not only stood up for our family, but he's stood up for thousands of families like us."
"I've never been more proud of him," Jake added.
Jon Ralston's post concluded, "When I get home later this week, I will see someone officially named Jake Ralston for the first time. And one thing I know for certain: It will be love at first sight."