Teaching Our Children to Be Allies
By Lacey Byrne, Yellowbrick Staff Writer
At Yellowbrick, we strive to provide resources for parents to help them foster inclusive and socially conscientious children. We’ve been talking a lot lately about bystanders and becoming allies to disenfranchised groups. We need to create a climate of outspoken bystanders in the face of bullying, overt racism, or sexism. This week in particular, we’ve been discussing transgender people and families in honor of Trans Awareness week.
On Tuesday, Amber Briggle, a self-described “mama bear” of two children, shared her family’s journey on a Facebook Live event.
During this special live broadcast, she shared the story of her Transgender son Max and answered questions from our readers. In addition to educating viewers and offering support to those who were struggling themselves, she offered sound advice for parents.
Today is the start of National Transgender Awareness Week! I’m happy to answer your questions about life as a trans-inclusive family in Texas — what’s on your mind? A few ground rules first,…
What struck me the most was her urgency for parents to teach their kids how to be allies for other kids like Max. She was fortunate enough to be asked by the parents of Max’s friends what they can do to support her and her family.
She asked that they teach their kids the right language to use for her son and to stand up for him. The result was that Max expanded his network of supportive friends and allies, and those kids are better equipped to stand up for someone who might need it.
Not only is it a gift to a child who may be potentially bullied to teach them to stand up for themselves, but it is also a gift to teach your child to stand up for someone else. You are teaching your child to stand firm, speak out, and confidently say, “No!” This goes a long way in adulthood as we are faced with bullies of all kinds; peers, employers, strangers, toxic family members, etc.
She urged viewers to make a point to include transgender children in their communities. For example, if you live in a community with a transgender child, invite them to your child’s birthday party, or neighborhood cookout. Trans kids are often left out of both public and private spaces.
It’s wonderful to explain to your child what it means to be transgender, but let’s push it further by being a part of creating an inclusive community where you live.
– Lacey Byrne, Yellowbrick Staff Writer