Synopses & Reviews
Though Whittington has an admirable impulse to use the unexpected viral video fame of her transgender kindergarten aged son Ryland for a teaching moment her narrative comes across as overly self congratulatory. Soon after Whittington and her husband Jeff addressed toddler Ryland’s deafness with cochlear implants Ryland began to express clearly in word and behavior a male identity in ways typically seen as markers for young transgender children. Ryland soon adopted male bathroom behavior and masculine hair clothing and toy preferences. Hillary researched the subject and learned that gender identity is established in children in the first few years of life. Realizing that the outcomes for trans youth unsupported by their families and communities are very poor she committed herself to supporting Ryland’s transition overcoming her own misgivings and helping her husband and the people around them to understand. Hillary’s carefully crafted eight page letter for friends and family may be a useful tool for other parents of transgender children. However the immediacy seems to have been worn away from her well rehearsed story leaving more message than emotion. (Feb.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."