Stories

Call Him Hunter – Transgender Teen, family break barriers on way to his authentic life.

FC-moms-cover

Hunter Jordan Keith, 15, has always known he was different. For the first 14 years of his life, he lived inside the female body he was born with, going by his given name, Olivia Lauren Keith. Looking back, he says he never felt comfortable as a female; often he felt trapped and betrayed by his own body.

“In fifth grade, I remember watching a TV show on female-to-male transition, and I thought, ‘Wait, that’s me,’” Hunter said. “I’d never been ‘one of the girls;’ I usually hung out with the boys.”

At 14, Hunter began doing extensive Internet research about gender and sexuality. He learned what it meant to be transgender and familiarized himself with various treatment options, such as testosterone and various surgical procedures. He identified with a YouTube video series created by a teen in the process of transitioning from a female to a male.

“I kept seeing myself in every single bit,” Hunter said. “This is me, this is me … it was like a checklist. Finally, there was no doubt in my mind.”  Read More

Story by Ronelle Grier, Contributing Writer

 

HunterStory2Building a Better Understanding of the Transgender Community

Roz Keith's first inkling that her youngest child, the one who never liked frilly dresses or girly things, might be different came about eight years ago.

The little girl she and her husband named Olivia was playing in the bathtub, and declared: "I'm a boy!"

"I said, 'OK. Do you want to be a boy?' " Keith said. Olivia's response was: "No, but I am a boy."

"It always stuck in the back of my mind," said Keith, a mother of two from Farmington. "It was just that nuance with the words."

Keith remembered that conversation, but didn't give it much weight at the time. Olivia was only 7 then. She was just a tomboy, her mother thought, who preferred Spider-Man to tutus. But as Olivia grew, it became more and more clear that something else was going on.

Olivia identified as a boy.

Keith would later learn that there are few guidebooks about what to do when your child is transgender. In fact, there are few resources at all for families. It took hours of research, careful conversations, doctors' visits and the shedding of many tears before the Keith family found its way.

"Other kids who make these pronouncements and come out … they don't view themselves as becoming a girl or they want to be a boy," Keith said. "They are. They are a boy or they are a girl. So I think that he (Olivia) couldn't answer that question, 'Do you want to be a boy?' because he was like: 'I am a boy.' "

Now Roz Keith wants to help others and is among the organizers of an event tonight at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield called "Transgender Youth and Families: You Are Not Alone." Read More

Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

 

KeithFamilyOPFarmington woman supports her transgender son

With Bruce Jenner debuting as Caitlyn this week, a local mother shared her story of when, at 14 years old, her daughter transitioned into a boy.

Adolescence is a time of tremendous change — the body transitioning to adulthood, confusing hormones and all the challenges of navigating family, friendships and school in the midst of this intense developmental unrest.

For transgender teens, it can also mean enduring the confusion of a body that is developing into something that feels quite wrong.

For any parent, this can be a time of helplessness, watching children grapple with all of these changes, hoping they survive it with minimal emotional scars. For Roz Keith of Farmington, whose daughter was struggling with coming out as transgender, it was painful and bewildering. Read More

By Beth Robinson, The Oakland Press

 
 


Master SWTs ZachKerr_ThumbnailTransgender student takes national stage

Zach Kerr was born a girl, but knew from early on that was wrong.
With his family’s support, he’s finding himself – and inspiring others.

Grace and Gary Kerr had three boys under the age of 6 when she became pregnant again, this time with triplets. The Methuen couple learned ahead of time that they were going to have three girls.

“I wanted to know because if it was three more boys, I was going to need time to adjust to that,” says Grace.

On Dec. 6, 1993, at New England Medical Center, Grace gave birth to three identical girls: Amy, Amanda, and Sara. “We had five kids in diapers, five in car seats,” says Grace, who teaches third grade. “That first week, we went through more than 300 diapers.”

The triplet sisters as babies (from left): Amy, Sara, and Amanda.

From toddlerhood, Amanda preferred playing with her brothers’ trucks and toys, and wore their T-shirts with basketballs or frogs on them, not the girly pink favored by her sisters. At age 3, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would reply: “A boy.”

At first, her parents thought it was cute. But by the time Amanda was 5 and insisting that she was, in fact, a boy, it got old.

total:0

“I told her, ‘No, you’re a girl. This isn’t funny anymore,’ ” Grace recalls.

But the little girl wasn’t joking. Read More

By Bella English, GLOBE STAFF