While the protesters included a wide range of LGBT community members and allies, one of the youngest demonstrators quickly earned national attention. Libby Gonzales, who is transgender and seven years old, traveled with her parents, Rachel and Frank Gonzales, from their home in Dallas to the state capital.
In a phone interview with Bustle, Rachel Gonzales shared how important it is for families to band together in solidarity. “We’re lucky in Dallas-Fort Worth to have a community through Equality Texas that is strictly for families with trans children. I think we’re up to 300 parents or so, so we’re very geographically large area,” she says. “It was awesome to have such a huge turn-out against the SB6 hearing, that I testified in.”
It really feels like you are the only one going through this, until you connect with other families.
During our conversation, Gonzales shared that fighting anti-trans legislation is not the only reason it’s crucial for families of trans children to unite. It’s just as important for reminding their children and themselves that they’re not alone and that there are others facing similar obstacles.
“It really feels like you are the only one going through this, until you connect with other families,” Gonzales says. “I was lucky enough to connect with other families via the group before I found our local group and I still felt that way.”
Besides regularly meeting in person with a community of families, the Gonzales are active in the DFW Trans Kids and Families Facebook group, which provides a forum to organize and share stories.
Moreover, through uniting in trans advocacy, Gonzales says Libby has been able to connect with trans adults who can serve as critical role models: “We were already fairly connected with trans children and their parents, but not as well connected with trans adults. Libby got to meet a lot more the past few weeks, and it’s been a really illuminating experience realizing that we wouldn’t be friends with a lot of these people if we didn’t have this huge common thread.”
If other parents, adults, would start having these conversations and stick up for trans kids and adults, and call out discriminatory comments we wouldn’t be where we are right now.
At the same time, Gonzales says she believes the relationships have provided benefits for transgender adults, as well. “Because of it, we’re all family. There’s nothing we wouldn’t do for each other at this point,” Gonzales explains. “A lot of trans adults don’t have their families in their lives anymore, which is just heartbreaking.”
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