Transgender Olympian 

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Though my parents support the rights of transgender people, I wasn’t raised forced to believe the same as them. When I was younger, before they even taught me what gender meant, I saw a news broadcast about a young person born female, who felt that he was born in the wrong body. The news story covered the dysphoria he felt trapped in a female body, and how his parents felt he was supposed to live as the girl he was born as. As a small child, I saw his suffering, and felt so sad he was born in the wrong body. It broke me small heart to see a boy crying because of something he so badly wanted to change and couldn’t. And as a child I decided that people who are not the gender they were born as, no matter who they are, deserve to feel validated and loved. They deserve the rights they were born with before they realized they were born in the wrong body. That is what happens when you allow children to decide what they believe in. They choose understanding, comparison, sympathy, and love. Congratulations to the first transgender man on team USA. You are a role model for what people like you – people facing hatred and judgment – can do.