If only every parent of a transgender child were as accepting and dedicated as Jodie Patterson.
When Patterson noticed a change in her child’s behavior, she asked what was wrong.
“Everyone thinks I’m a girl,” Penelope told her.
“Soon into Penelope’s first year, you could see things that were different. Penelope is happy to be right next to his dad, doing dad things,” she says. “And I also noticed that Penelope would mock, or imitate and study his brother. Cassius would cough and Penelope would cough. He was literally studying how to be a boy.”
Patterson says she did not know much about what it meant to be transgender and at first she had to do a lot of research.
“Then after you research for days and months, you have to decide to let lead from the heart,” she adds. “Our collective understanding is that we are who we are from the inside.”
She knows the journey won’t always be easy for them.
“Sometimes I feel like the world is against us,” she admits. “Penelope, and all the Penelopes, are up against a lot.”
Patterson knows the importance of fighting to raise consciousness and improve society for transgender children.
“You have to keep reinforcing truths, keep helping people to see it differently. When we treated Penelope as he wanted to be treated, and when we allowed him to present as he wanted to present, he blossomed,” she says. “I will make sure that the world moves out of your way so that you can be you.”