Matt Duron is a self-described "guy's guy." He's an athletic, masculine police officer and he's also the cheerleader, protector and ally to his transgender child.
He wrote about it in The Atlantic:
To me, loving a child who is different, a target and seen as vulnerable is my role as a father and decent human being. He's just as special to me and loved by me as my oldest son, whose most prized possession is a pocketknife, who plays football, likes fart jokes, and is starting to notice girls.
I'm a father. I signed on for the job with no strings attached, no caveats, no conditions. I can name every Disney Princess and her movie of origin. I've painted my son's nails and rushed to remove it when he was afraid that he would get teased for wearing it. I didn't want to remove it, I wanted to follow him around and stare down anybody who even thought about teasing him. I only removed it because he started to have a panic attack. It was his decision and if he wants to edit himself to feel safer, I'll do it. Every time. No questions asked.
Duron has reasons to be protective; gay and transgender youth face challenges unlike those of their peers. Estimates from the Center for American Progress suggest 320,000 to 400,000 gay and transgender youth face homelessness each year. One in five transgender people has experienced homelessness at some time.
A survey of 6,500 people in the United States found that 41 percent of transgender people have attempted suicide, compared to only 1.6 percent of the general population, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.
On The Daily Circuit, we look at the lives at transgender youth.
LEARN MORE ABOUT TRANSGENDER YOUTH:
• About a Boy: Transgender surgery at sixteen
Skylar is a boy, but he was born a girl, and lived as one until the age of fourteen. Skylar would put it differently: he believes that, despite biological appearances, he was a boy all along. He'd just been burdened with a body that required medical and surgical adjustments so that it could reflect the gender he knew himself to be. At sixteen, he started getting testosterone injections every other week; just before he turned seventeen, he had a double mastectomy. (New Yorker)
• Standing with their transgender girl, a family waits for the state to catch up
With the support of her family, Harriette is pressing for legislative change so that transgender children and youth can change their passport or birth certificate to reflect their gender identity. Whether crossing the border or signing up for gymnastics, she says her official identification is causing her stress. (The Globe and Mail)
• California Will Now Let Transgender Students Use Any Bathroom They Prefer
In a bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, California has become the first state to require schools to allow transgender students to choose which bathrooms, locker rooms, and athletic teams align with their gender identity. (Atlantic)