Mom Shares Adorable Way Her Child Decided To Come Out As Non-Binary On Their Holiday Card

Photo: Instagram
Mom Shares How Her Child Came Out As Non-Binary

Leading up to this Christmas, a California mother was nervously rereading her social media post that would announce her child’s chosen name and true identity to all the people in their life, as well as conservative family members.

Jennifer Chen hoped that everyone would be understanding and considerate towards her and her child, Clark, but she knew that may not be what would happen.

The mom's child was coming out as nonbinary via the family's Christmas card.

The post itself read, “I’d like you all to meet Clark (formerly known as Claire). Clark prefers they/them/he pronouns and would like to be known as my kid/my son who is nonbinary. Clark asked us to tell our friends and family who they are now.”

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The holiday card pictures feature their whole family in a Pasadena garden, as well as several adorable images of just the twins.

We can see Clark posing with their sister, Chloe, while wearing a tie, a collared shirt, and a grin from ear to ear.

The siblings seem very close in the pictures, and as their mother, Chen, says in the post, “Chloe is the first to correct me when I accidentally use the wrong pronouns or name.”

Clark’s parents saw that Clark didn’t feel like a girl as early as preschool.

When Clark was very young — Chen told “Today” — the parents began to notice their child’s struggles with gender identity one morning when there was no clean laundry except for the twins’ skirts and dresses.

While most would expect begrudging acceptance if the child was a little girl who didn’t like skirts, Clark’s strong reaction struck the parents.

They cried, telling their parents, “I don’t feel like me in skirts.”

And when he read a few children’s books exploring gender identity, Clark was so excited to find a kid who they related to in the story, exclaiming, “I feel the same way too!” when reading about a little boy named Penelope who liked to wear ties.

Clark’s parents have been trying to help them come out in little ways.

While Chen admits to worry about what they future will hold when Clark may need a medical transition and face discrimination from people outside their accepting neighborhood, she has been doing her best to encourage Clark’s feelings.

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The parents took them to a salon with a nonbinary stylist so that Clark could get the short haircut they really wanted without judgment, as they had faced in other salons.

In kindergarten, a lunch lady thought their name was Clark, instead of Claire, which they had still been using at the time. It excited Clark to change their name.

After a while of getting used to it at home, they announced the name change at school with the help of the supportive teacher.

The class seemed very supportive as well, and to Chen’s surprise, Clark had already told many of the teachers, so his cubby and nametag already read “Clark.”

The family received an overwhelmingly positive response to their post.

When posting to Facebook and Instagram, Chen feared the worse kind of response would befall her child and her family, so she tried to lessen the public backlash by adding, “I ask that if you disagree with our family’s choice — that you tell me privately in a message — rather than put it in a public comment.”

But Chen was shocked by the response they actually received — which was overwhelmingly supportive.

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She received DMs from friends as well as emails from other parents who were inspired by her.

And the one thing she didn’t receive was negative messages, despite her expectations.

She showed the children the positive comments she got, and told her how proud she was of how they each handled it, which they had trouble understanding.

They asked her, “Mommy, why would anyone not love someone for who they are?”

Even after their mother said, “Sometimes, people are scared of what they don’t know and they let their fear get in the way,” they didn’t fully understand.

And overall, Chen was glad that she did not yet have to see backlash come after her parenting or her child after the post.

Honestly, we can all be glad for a rare instance of people showing kindness and understanding to another person online!

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Amanda Hartmann is a writer and editorial intern at YourTango who writes on news and entertainment.