Family shares story of transgendered deaf child - CBS46 News

Family shares story of transgendered deaf child

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The Whittington family, including Ryland, far left. (Source: YouTube/TheWhittingtonFamily) The Whittington family, including Ryland, far left. (Source: YouTube/TheWhittingtonFamily)

(RNN) - A family recently shared their story of their deaf daughter who told them she was boy.

The Whittington family posted a video on YouTube about their first child, Ryland. In the video, the family said they learned sometime around Ryland's first birthday that Ryland was deaf. They decided to get Ryland cochlear implants, which helped Ryland eventually learn to hear and speak.

"As soon as Ryland could speak, she would scream, 'I am a boy!'" according to the video.

The Whittingtons thought their child was going through a tomboy phase, but Ryland continued to push back against identifying as a girl.

"When the family dies, I will cut my hair so I could be a boy. Why did God make me like this?" Ryland said to his parents.

The video chronicles Ryland's life as the Whittington family came to terms with Ryland being transgendered.

"Through our research, we discovered a disturbing statistic: 41 percent of transgender people have attempted suicide due to lack of societal acceptance - the national average is 4.6 percent," the family said in the video, citing a January 2014 report from the Williams Institute. "We were not willing to take that risk."

The family said they cut Ryland's hair and started dressing him like a boy, as well as using pronouns he and him instead of she and her. The Whittingtons also sent letters to family and friends explaining the change - some of whom were not accepting of it.

"We lost a few … but the people who truly matter stuck by us," the family said in the video.

The family said they want the world to become a more loving and accepting place for not only Ryland but also the entire LGBTQ community.

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