5-Year-Old Jacob Lemay's Family Supports Their Young Transgender Son In The Best Way — VIDEO
In a video for NBC, Joe Lemay describes his son, Jacob. He says, “He’s just, like, the funnest kid and a great buddy to have around. He was also born in a girl’s body.” Jacob Lemay is transgender. Raised as “Mia” for the first few years of his life, Jacob, now five years old, began living full-time as a boy last year. Having a child come out as trans at such a young age would be a challenging experience for any family, but the Lemays have handled their son’s gender identity in the best way possible: with support, acceptance, and love. (Let's pause to imagine a world where that kind of response isn't exceptional.) You might want to get out your tissues.
Jacob’s parents explain to NBC that Mia began self-identifying as a boy from the time she was two years old. She displayed a nearly obsessive need to change her clothes, something her parents now recognize was possibly due to a sense of discomfort with how she looked to the world. Her desire to act and look male didn’t fade over time. Jacob’s mother, Mimi, explains in the video,
Her need to play boy roles, and her need to be seen or spoken to as a boy at home became very persistent and very consistent. Those are the hallmarks of a possibly transgender child: consistence, persistence, and insistence. And she was meeting all those markers.
Mimi explains that things came to a head when she and Mia nearly got into a car accident. The experience left her shaken and asking herself,
If this was the moment where I lost her, what would I have want to have done? Would I have wanted to force her to be Mia for that one last day? Or would I want her to have gone, happy being who she really was? At that point, my mind was made up.
After a trip to Disneyworld, during which Jacob was thrilled to be dressed as Prince Charming, the Lemays decided to let him transition. They showed him a video of another young trans child, Ryland Whittington, and asked him if he wanted to make the change. After being assured that he could switch schools and completely shed his “Mia” identity, Jacob said, “I want to be a boy always.”
Since Jacob transitioned, Mia and Joe say that he has been a happier, more confident child. Mia explains,
I realized he had never really been Mia. That had been a figment of my imagination...I want him to know how proud I am of him, how brave I believe he is, and how, no matter what, I am in his corner and I love him and I always will. Because he is my son.
While Jacob is blessed with a supportive, loving family—something that, sadly, many transgender kids lack—Mimi acknowledges that we live in a society that is often hostile to transgender people. That’s precisely why she has chosen to tell Jacob’s story; she tells NBC News,
The environment that my son will grow up in depends on how transgender people are perceived by society.
He's gonna go out there in the world. He's gonna travel and he's gonna meet other people. If we don't come out now and talk to people and… show people that transgender children are normal and wonderful and they're not to be feared, then I'm afraid that he will go into the world and meet with hostility.
Watch the video below, and be prepared to weep happy tears. You keep being you, awesome family!
Image: Metro Wellness/Twitter