The kid was obviously talented. He was athletic and graceful. He could sing, dance, memorize lines, and occasionally did a cartwheel across the room for fun.
We were in an amateur show produced by a local community organization. Most cast members were adults. The kid held his own, did fine, brimmed with confidence.
This kid is going to be a big success in life, I thought.
A few weeks into rehearsals, his grandmother pulled me aside. He is biologically female, she told me. It was a lot to absorb, to say the least. The grandmother was not confiding in me because of any special relationship. She told me, I thought, because others already knew. It was not a secret.
This child knew who he was from age three, the grandma explained. He had a girl’s name and was treated like a girl. For his third birthday his family bought him a tutu. He refused to wear it and told them he was a boy, and that was that.
This was the most accepting family a child could have hoped for. “We told him, ‘We didn’t know, we didn’t understand,’” the grandma told me. They changed what had to be changed, including his name, and never tried to change his mind.