• Rain Dove has shown remarkable compassion in speaking with a transphobic parent. (Getty Images, Instagram)
“You must have really created a space of open communication and safety for them to have asked you for a binder!”
Samuel Leighton-Dore

4 Dec 2019 - 3:24 PM  UPDATED 4 Dec 2019 - 8:38 PM

We've heard of 'kill them with kindness' - but this is some next level patience.

Gender nonconforming model and activist Rain Dove has shared a conversation they had with a concerned parent over social media, delivering a masterclass in compassion and understanding.

It all began when Dove, who has previously schooled Instagram on censorship and gender, received a direct message from a mother claiming Dove had made her child "sick". What she really meant by "sick" was that her daughter had requested a chest binder for Christmas, and this mother had decided to blame Dove.

However, what could have easily descended into a typical social media shout-out, soon turned into anything but. And while it's important to note the unfair emotional labour these conversations can require of trans and gender nonconforming people, Dove's post is a refreshing reminder of the power calm conversation can have.

“My child is sick due to you,” the exasperated mother writes in her first DM, claiming her child has “mental problems” and “wants to be a boy” because of Dove's influence. 

“They may not be wanting to identify as male,” Dove responds. “How are you feeling about it? Does it feel a bit heavy?”

The mother replies: “I refuse supporting my child hating [their] body and I’m not a bad parent for that,” before Dove patiently explains that access to binders can prevent young trans people from more potentially harmful dysphoria-management techniques.

Then the tone of the chat starts to change.

“Would you rather have your child in your life or gone forever?" Dove then asks. "A little piece of medically approved fabric can literally save their life."

“It’s easier to love Ourselves when we feel loved as Ourselves no matter where we are on Our paths,” they continue, before giving the mother props.

“You must have really created a space of open communication and safety for them to have asked you for a binder!”

Soon enough, the mother was thanking Dove for the information and kindness - leaving fans in awe of Dove's calmness in the face of fear.

“The compassion is palpable,” actor Johnny Sibilly tweeted in response to the chat.

"Such a gracious spirit," another added.

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