Transgender parent: Obama’s guidance a big step forward

Kelly Marshal went through the gender transition several years ago. (KXAN Photo)
Kelly Marshal went through the gender transition several years ago. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It did not take long for opposition to voice their displeasure after President Barack Obama warned schools could lose federal funding if they deny transgender students the choice of whichever restroom makes them feel most comfortable. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was one of the leaders urging schools to ignore the president.

But while adults debate and argue the consequences, a female-to-male transgender man has found, in his experience, children to be accepting and understanding.

“Kids are easy. It is easy for them to conceptualize being transgender and they look to adults for guidance,” said Kelly Marshall, an Austin resident.

Three years ago, Marshall began identifying as transgender and began hormone replacement a year later. He has children, ages 12 and 9, who were with him through his entire transition.

“It makes sense to them. The issue is when we start trying to police what a threat looks like from an adult perspective.”

Obama’s words were a huge step forward for the transgender community in Marshall’s opinion. He said as a parent and a transgender individual, the recognition from the president is a relief and he hopes it will lead to more acceptance.

“Most of the time, transgender individuals have to face the bathroom issue,” he said. “The primary concern is safety for ourselves.”

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