Las Vegas hairstylist Proud mama Jodi Gholson Oliver is definitely in the running for mom-of-the-year, at least in my book. Oliver recently took to Facebook to announce her 19-year-old son as a transgender person, and she did it in the most amazing and beautiful way possible. Along with a cute illustration of a baby-carrying white stork and the words “It’s A Boy,” Oliver shared a moving message about her son, Jes‘ journey to self-acceptance.
“Yep, it’s true! I am proud to announce that I have given birth to a bouncing baby boy on December 18, 1994. For about 18 1/2 years we thought he was a girl, who just happened to like bugs, tattoos, flames, skulls, snakes, lizards, etc, etc. Then one day Jes explained to us that he never felt like he was supposed to be a girl, always identified more as boy and therefore planned on living as a male (a term called transgender in case you are not sure). This is something that we have all seen over the years and I am so happy that he can finally feel like the person he was born to be! If you have any questions please feel free to ask me, as I will do my best to help you understand a concept that may be unfamiliar to you! If you think your question may be inappropriate, it probably is and I will probably not answer it!”
Jes then shared his mom’s touching tribute on his own Tumblr page, along with this:
“My mom let her Facebook friends/family know what’s up regarding me just now and this is how she did it. Heck yeah, mom.”
After the story was picked up by the Daily Dot, the post went viral, and it currently has hundreds of likes and dozens of shares, as well as dozens of supportive comments. Friday Oliver wrote a follow-up post letting everyone know how inspired and surprised she was by the response she received. I am especially impressed with how well she handled the occasional criticism she got as well:
“I thought when I made this announcement on FB I was just letting all of my friends and family know about recent developments in our lives and that telling everyone at the same time would just be so much easier,” she wrote. “I had no idea this was going to affect so many people like it has. I’ve even read a few non-supportive comments, and that’s ok,” she added. “We do live in a country where we have ‘Freedom of Speech’ and without that I would not have been able to make my announcement.”
I will admit, I’m not usually a huge fan of these public posts about one’s kids (even fully grown kids like Jes), but I think this particular story is both moving and important. Life isn’t always easy for young transgender folks, so the more public support those of us who love them give, the better.
Parenting – you’re doing it right, Jodi.