Amy, Khari, & Eli
Amy: I have worked in the community for a really long time. Right now I am the director of an alternative high school. We are part of a larger organization that has always fought against discrimination, racism, just any kind of oppression. I really want all students attending my school to be able to be safe regardless of sexual orientation. I went to a training put on by Diverse & Resilient’s Executive Director. I worked with a group formed at Eli’s school to support kids dealing with peer pressure, bullying, or feeling like they don’t fit in because of who they are. I was amazed that more than 20 kids joined this group. There was a real need.
Khary: I was raised as Jehovah’s Witness. During my childhood, I got used to acting one way outside of the house and another way when I was in the house. There are a lot of expectations you have to live up to as a Jehovah’s Witness. We could never really be ourselves without feeling a lot of shame, either as a child or as an adult.
Eli came to us separately to tell us he was having an issue with being one person at home and one person at school. Basically, Eli feels like a male and wants to be treated as our son. Eli talked to us about the pain of being one person at home and then going to school and having to hide the gender identity he feels. We both felt bad that he felt that he had to wait to tell us this. We try to be very approachable, very accepting. It really broke our hearts that Eli felt that he had to wait to talk to us. We can’t walk that life road for our kids, but we can be there to support and love them along the way.