Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached
By Hillary Whittington
When Hillary and Jeff Whittington posted a YouTube video chronicling their five-year-old son Ryland's transition from girl to boy, they didn't expect it to be greeted with such fervor. Beautiful and moving, the video documenting Hillary and Jeff's love for their child instantly went viral and has been seen by more than seven million viewers since its posting.
Now, for the first time, they tell their story in full, offering an emotional, moving account of their journey alongside their exceptional child. After they discovered their daughter Ryland was deaf at age one and needed cochlear implants, the Whittingtons spent nearly four years successfully teaching Ryland to speak. But once Ryland gained the power of speech, it was time for them to listen as Ryland insisted, I am a boy. Hillary and her husband, Jeff, made it their mission to support their child no matter what.
From the earliest stages of deciphering Ryland through clothing choices to examining the difficult conversations that have marked every stage of Ryland's transition, Hillary Whittington shares her experiences as a mother through it all, demonstrating both the resistance and support that their family has encountered as they try to erase the stigma surrounding the word transgender. What emerges is a powerful story of unconditional love.