Photo by Annie Tritt from "Transcending Self," an ongoing project about transgender and nonbinary youth: Five-year old twins Jay, who is a transgender boy, and Rosie, a cisgender girl, play on the couch in Luton, England. "My heart told me I'm a boy and I'm copying it," said Jay.
His mother echoes these sentiments: "Jay says he has always known he was a boy. He said he was a boy with the same certainty as his sister said she was a girl. I felt like this wasn’t a decision for Jay, any more than our cisgender daughter Rosie ‘decided’ she was a girl. In the end, you have no choice, you have to just follow where your child leads and remember that their emotional wellbeing is more important than other people’s misconceptions and more important than your own pride or discomfort. Jay says he is so happy to be addressed using his male name and pronouns, sometimes he gets a little sad at being misgendered (he has long hair) but mostly he is happy to just correct people and carry on. He loves knowing that people who are important to him see him as male, and absolutely beams when those he loves most use male-orientated terms of endearment. He will sometimes seek reassurance from me that everyone in our lives definitely knows he’s a boy, and when I confirm again that they do, I can see how happy that makes him. I want people to know my child is a human being, that his existence and his identity are valid. And that other people’s ignorance is not an excuse to mistreat the transgender community. Jay would want you to know that he’s a boy, that his favorite color is orange, and that he loves Batman."