Dad Explains The Simple Message He Told His Son After Seeing A Trans Woman In Their Rural Texas Small Town

He became extremely emotional after explaining why he was so happy to see a trans woman in his small town.

James Eric Balow tiktok @oddragon226 / TikTok

A father shared his emotional reaction and an equally heartwarming message after both he and his son had their first encounter with a trans woman.

In a TikTok video, James Eric Balow and his son had been walking into a trucking stop in their extremely small Texas town when a trans woman had come up behind them to enter the same store. It was then that Balow took the opportunity to teach his son a valuable lesson.


He tearfully explained why seeing a trans woman in their rural Texas town made him extremely happy.

"We all know that there are people [who] are disgusted whenever they see a trans person, and we all know of the people who don't care if they see a trans person. But apparently, we are 1/3 type of person, or at least I am," Balow began in his video, referring to him and his son.

Balow explained that he and his son had been walking into a gas station store when a trans woman had come up behind them. Thinking nothing of it, Balow held the door open for her, but it wasn't until he got a good look that he eventually realize she was transgender.




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"When I tell you how happy it made me, I'm getting emotional now," he admitted, visibly tearing up in his video as he recounted the brief interaction. "To be able to see somebody be open and out to the world here in small-town Texas. You just gotta know how much bravery that takes."

Balow made sure to turn around and address his son, Mikey, who eagerly agreed with his father's opinion, and acknowledged that he had wanted to say something to the woman, but thought against it as it might've been "weird" for him to smile at a complete stranger.


Despite not saying anything to the woman, Balow did make sure to issue a powerful PSA at the end of his video, insisting that if any trans women lived in their small town, it was vital that they knew how supported they were by both him and his son.

"If you're a trans woman and you come here to the Landmark Truck Stop in Clyde, Texas, just know we're proud of you," Balow stressed, with his son Mikey interjecting with an enthusiastic, "Yep," from the backseat.

Balow's message holds an even deeper meaning when looking at the number of trans people who feel unsafe in anti-LGTBQ+ states.

Texas, along with a slew of other states, has been passing an extreme number of anti-trans legislations that make it harder for many people in the community, especially transgender minors, to receive the appropriate gender-affirming care they need to transition safely.

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It's why there are so many LGTBQ+ people who are fleeing these states in large numbers. According to Data for Progress, more than 40% of transgender adults have considered moving due to the anti-LGTBQ+ legislation in their states.

Recent polling also found that 47% of LGBTQ+ adults feel that their society has become unsafe in the past few years, while more than half of respondents ages 55-64 (52%) and 65+ (53%) believe that America as a whole has become less safe. 

At its core, advocating for trans rights is about upholding basic human rights and principles of equality. Transgender individuals, like anyone else, deserve to live their lives free from discrimination and prejudice, which is why people like Balow are needed more and more in some of these red states that are actively trying to push out and make LGTBQ+ people feel as if they don't belong.

It's even more heartening to know that Balow is actively trying to instill these messages of love and equality for his son to hear, especially against all of the anti-trans noise that Mikey is surrounded by in their rural small-town. Hearing and seeing his father become emotional and insist that he doesn't tolerate hate of any kind sets a good example for him to believe in compassion and empathy.


In states where anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments persist, voices like Balow's serve as a beacon of hope, reminding us that acceptance and inclusion should always be above division and discrimination.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.