Ben Faryna and Sara Kaplan, from Berkeley, California, revealed that their children — now ages 11 and 7 — “came out” as transgender when they were just 8 and 5 years old.
What are the details?
According to the Daily Mail, the couple’s children, James and Olivia, insisted that they were born in the wrong bodies at very young ages.
James, who is 11 years old, was born a biological girl and transitioned at the age of 8. Olivia, the 7-year-old who was born a biological boy, is now a girl, and transitioned at the age of 5.
Faryna and Kaplan say that they’re sharing their unconventional family story with hopes of inspiring others around the world, specifically transgender children and their families.
By the time their second child announced that they were transgender, Faryna and Kaplan considered the ordeal old hat.
“It was less shocking because we just had a child transition,” Kaplan said of Olivia’s transition. “We had educated ourselves about gender.”
Faryna added, “We were far more experienced in how to move through the transition as parents.”
Young James told the outlet, “I have always been a boy. Before I transitioned, I had a piece missing, and it didn’t feel right. I was nervous to tell my parents, but when I did, they said they accepted me. I was happy because I know a lot of trans kids don’t have that, and that’s sad.”
Olivia said that “being trans means you were born in the gender that you don’t feel in your heart. Anyone can be whoever they want to be, and it doesn’t matter what your opinion is.”
At 11 years old, James started hormone blockers to stop menstruation and breast development.
“I’m a guy, and if any other guy thought about being a woman, that’s uncomfortable,” James reasoned. He will eventually begin to receive testosterone treatments to assist in his transformation. Olivia is yet too young to begin hormonal therapy.
Faryna and Kaplan warn parents who accuse them of “imposing an agenda on their kids,” according to the outlet, and insist that there is nothing amiss in the household that would have precipitated such events.
“The reason that we chose to be public at this point is because having two transgender children is not that unique, but it’s very difficult to advocate for the second child without it looking like there’s a problem in the house,” Kaplan explained. “It looks like there is an agenda. Like the mother is sick, and that’s just not the case here.”
Faryna added, “It tends to fall on the mother, and I get feedback that I’m just complicit and just sitting here watching, which is untrue. I am a faithful father, and I love my children dearly.”
Faryna said that he believes the couple is “on the right side of history” and will encourage their children however possible.
“We are going about this because we are listening to our children, and because [we] are doing a lot of research, which has proven we are doing the right thing,” he insisted.
“Being trans is just a little part of me,” James said.”There’s so much more to me than being trans.”
Olivia feels the same way.
“I would say we are not different,” Olivia added. “We shouldn’t be treated better or worse.”