Meet Renee Fabish, a Brisbane mother of two, who’s recently taken to Facebook to announce her daughter’s gender transition into a boy with an amazing, brave and incredibly emotional Facebook slideshow.
Just over 9 years ago, Fabish gave birth to a happy and healthy little girl Milla. Everything was tracking as usual, when at the age of 2, she started showing interest in toys designed for boys. Nothing unusual I hear you say. Well no not really, That was until Milla came to Renee asking if there was any medicine available that could turn him into a boy permanently. He started questioning his physical gender, saying “why was I born like this? I want to be a boy, not just look like one. I want to be a real boy.”
Milla was becoming extremely depressed and withdrawn, and would go to bed crying every single night. He also stated that if he were to grow breasts, he was going to cut them off himself. Pure resentment for being a ‘boy trapped in a girl’s body’
As a parent yourself, you can’t begin to imagine the emotional turmoil, confusion and challenge this presented, knowing you full well wanted to do best by your child but mindful of what these big changes could mean.
Friends kept dismissing Milla’s behaviour, saying she was simply “going through a phase” of being a “tomboy”, and you’d like to think that too. But the phase didn’t come and go. In the end Fabish took Milla to an Endocronoligist and Child Psychiatrist for a series of tests. Finally, the family’s questions were answered and they learned that Milla was transgender, which is also called “gender dysphoria.” The genetic condition means the person is not feeling comfortable; or feeling a mismatch with, the physical gender assigned at birth. “Milla was born as a female, but her brain identifies as male,” Fabish wrote.
She then goes on to explain that no one talked Milla into these feelings and he cannot be dissuaded from them, because they are real and permanent. After Fabish realised that Milla is transgender, she decided to take the advice of numerous doctors and encourage Milla to transition into being a boy immediately.
This decision most likely saved Milla’s life.
And we know kids can be cruel at times. In the video Milla speaks about the traumatic bullying he experiences on a daily basis at school and simply asks for people to accept the fact that he is now a boy. He says ‘it’s not easy being me’ because he feels like he is in the wrong body. I am having a really hard time at school at the moment – kids tease me all of the time – they call me shim, gay girl and weirdo,’ she said. ‘People just don’t understand me – nobody wants to be my friend.’
‘I just want people to accept me for who I am. I’m lucky that I have an awesome family who support me 100 per cent,’ she says.
‘I have decided I want to take the next step from today I want to live and be known as a boy I hope I have your support.’
Although society has progressed a great deal in understanding transgender people, there is still a long way to go. People who are trying to transition into a different gender are often the subject of bullying and abuse. Those who do not have the support of their families often attempt, and complete, suicide. That is why it is crucial for parents to allow and encourage their transgender children to transition into their authentic selves.
Thankfully Milla has an understanding family who are right behind what’s best for their child, and accept and support her son. “The only thing that has changed for us is pronouns,” writes Fabish. She goes on to write, “we support him wholeheartedly.” Fabish proceeds to explain that she absolutely refuses to let her son become one of the grim statistics that make news headlines regularly. Fabish points out that about half of all transgender people attempt to harm themselves. She is taking every step possible to ensure that Milla is able to lead a normal, happy, healthy and vibrant life.
“The only thing that has changed for us is pronouns, we support him wholeheartedly.”
Milla finishes by asking for everyone’s support and then flashing an adorable smile. Fabish says her son is happier than ever now that he is going to be living as, and recognized as, a boy.
Fabish’s Facebook page is filled with messages of support under the video. Some commenters touched upon the bullying aspect, saying, “No way in hell should he have to feel any amounts of bullying! People are who they want to be. I support you and your family all the way.”
Others praised Fabish for her incredible parenting and said she is an example to other parents. “Renee, you and your family are a true inspiration,” one commenter wrote. “You are an amazing mum who has raised an amazing family through lots of hard times. I respect you for how you stand tall and proud and keep moving forward and facing everything that comes your way head on and with such a positive attitude. Many would have crumbled, but not you. You are a great role model for all parents and for your kids.”
“Wow!!!! That made me cry,” another commenter stated, “you are extremely amazing parents and your son deserves to live life his way and the way he feels in his heart it should be lived! This is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! You all should stand proud and this is something I will be showing my teenage son tomorrow too! Congratulations.”
The video has gone viral on Facebook and to date has received almost four million views. Fabish makes it clear in her video presentation that she dearly loves her son. She ends the slide show with an impassioned plea.
“Everybody is fighting a battle you know nothing about,” she writes. “Remember to be kind always.”