Lance

Henrico, VA

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My name is Lance. I am a lifelong Henrico resident, a software engineer, and a father to two children, one of whom is a transgender girl.  All I have ever wanted for my daughter is to have the best life possible. My wife and I first realized our youngest child was a little different around age three, but around age five, she let us know that she was a girl and definitely not  a boy. From there, we took steps to make sure she felt loved and accepted for who she is. We didn’t have all the answers for how to support her, so we got into contact with a local support group for parents of transgender kids as well as a therapist who specializes in helping transgender youth.

 

With all this support, our daughter was able to transition in kindergarten – the first time she dressed as a girl outside of the house was for school photos in the spring. In first grade, she started using a new name, Anna, which made more sense for her. We have been lucky that Anna has never faced harassment from peers or teachers, and her elementary school’s administration has treated her just like any other girl for several years now. To make sure things are going okay, we have a meeting with the guidance counselor and principal every summer. We will do the same thing as she begins middle school later this year.

 

Ever since my daughter came out, I’ve been dedicated to ensuring she has the same chance as any other kid to live a happy and fulfilled life. Because of Anna, I have become involved in the school district to make school a better place for all children, but there’s still a lot I can’t control about her future safety and happiness. Having legislation in place for housing, employment, and public accommodations would be a weight off my shoulders. Parents worry enough about their children, and it would be huge to know that our daughter will not be fired or denied housing when she grows up just because of who she is. I would be comforted to know she could walk into any restaurant, theater, hotel, or hospital and be treated like everyone else. I hope one day soon, all parents will be able to know their children can grow up without facing discrimination.

 

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.