Every young person deserves a normal childhood filled with school, extracurriculars, birthday celebrations and, of course, wonderful winter holidays. These early experiences are crucial parts of a healthy developmental path: Kids who don’t get them are at elevated risk for a host of lifelong mental health challenges, including difficulties managing relationships and a diminished ability to take care of oneself, find love or even hold a job.
Unfortunately, this December, transgender children across the country are going to have very abnormal holiday experiences. These kids are attempting to celebrate the holidays in the face of an unprecedented campaign of state-sponsored hatred against them, including hundreds of bills specifically targeting trans kids, and crackpot misinformation purveyed by influencers with extremely broad reaches. And inevitably, around dinner tables and during gift exchanges, some of these children will find themselves at the center of debates about their right to exist.