Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The heartwarming story of Wren Kauffman

I have been delighted this week to read about the story of Wren Kauffman, an 11-year-old Edmonton boy who went back to school this week like most kids his age. The amazing part of this story is that Wren returned to school after he had been known as a girl named Wrenna. This school year marked the end of hiding for him.

As this Huffington Post article indicates: "Teachers, friends and other students at his Edmonton school know the truth — that he's a girl on the outside but feels like a boy on the inside. And that's why, even at such a young age, he has chosen to live in the world as the opposite sex, and not keep it a secret.

"If you're not yourself, then it kind of gets sad and depressing," says the freckle-faced kid with short-cropped hair.

"I'm glad that I told everybody."

Click on this link to watch a great Canadian Press video of Wren in his own words. Unfortunately I can't embed it here on this site.

What a beautiful kid! I'm so proud of him and his family for supporting him in this amazing decision.

The story also reminds me of a dear friend, Kyle Scanlon, who was also transgendered and often told me how he felt quite awkward while growing up. Born female with the name 'Kelly', Kyle said he too looked at himself as a boy, not a girl while growing up. The onset of puberty and its hormonal changes brought on a deep depression that lasted for Kyle for years. Only later as an adult (a couple years after I met him) was Kyle able to undergo gender re-assignment surgery and finally become the man he was meant to be.

Sadly, even this transformation didn't help Kyle handle all of his personal demons and he chose to end his own life in 2012. So watching this story this week about this amazing 11-year-old boy who has support from his family, his classmates and his school to come out as transgendered provides some great relief and hope.

If indeed school boards across Canada are starting to work out how to accommodate and support transgendered students (and make no mistake, there are many such students struggling in our schools right now), then that is a fantastic thing and most needed!

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