"At eight years old, we changed her name and pronouns and she began living as herself in the world. She immediately transformed into a confident, joyful child whose smile lights up an entire room."
By
Michaela Morgan

14 Mar 2017 - 2:51 PM  UPDATED 14 Mar 2017 - 2:55 PM

A woman in New Jersey has written a letter about her 10-year-old transgender daughter, describing how she and her family came to realise that their child was a girl.

Jamie Bruesehoff has written in Medium that her daughter Rebekah—while now a “happy and thriving kid”—experienced difficulties in the years before her transition.

“We watched as she became increasingly uncomfortable in her own body and confused about her place in the world," she wrote. “We watched as depression took over, and before we knew it, we had a seven-year-old child in crisis.”

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Bruesehoff says that with the help of professionals, they were able to give Rebekah the support to “unpack her identity”.

“We all came to realise she wasn’t a boy. She was a girl. At eight years old, we changed her name and pronouns and she began living as herself in the world. She immediately transformed into a confident, joyful child whose smile lights up an entire room.”

Bruesehoff is married to an Evangelical Lutheran pastor and says that as a clergy family, they have “lived out this journey publicly in our church and our community where Rebekah has been welcomed with open arms.”

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“We may not entirely understand the science around why people are born transgender or even what it all means for our daughter’s future, but we know that God created each and every one of us in God’s own image.

“God does not love our daughter in spite of her gender identity. God did not put her in the wrong body. This is who she has always been, who God created her to be, and like I’ve heard from so many who want to dispute transgender identities, God doesn’t make mistakes.”

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Bruesehoff also wrote about the importance of Gavin Grimm’s case and how her husband was one of 2,000 faith leaders to sign an amicus supporting him.

“This case may specifically be about a transgender child’s ability to use the proper restroom, but it really is so much more than that. This is about dignity and compassion for transgender people.

“This is about the right to be who you are in the world with the same rights and protections of any other individual.”

You can read the full letter here