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Family Navigates Son’s Transgender Journey amid NC’s Restrictive Laws

Originally Published: 16 NOV 23 08:19 ET

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ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — Amanda and Josh Dumas live near Charlotte with their two children, one of whom is a transgender boy.

“There were signs at the age of 2 when he asked to go by a different name,” Amanda said. “He was always drawn to more masculine things. We kind of laughed about it and shrugged it off.”

But before Michael went to kindergarten, Mom and Dad got serious.

“Me and Josh, we went to counseling, just the two of us. They recommended we suggest a name or a nickname,” Amanda said. “Over that summer before kindergarten, we let him get a haircut, he started using a nickname, and then he started really presenting to everybody as male.”

The parents described what happened after coming to terms with their child identifying as a boy.

“After we got used to it, he became just a regular kid, a regular boy who wasn’t struggling with these mental health issues. He was just a happy kid,” Amanda said.

When asked about how the young child has reacted to the new laws in North Carolina, his father said he’s keeping a positive spirit.

“Something you have to know about Mike is, a lot of times when things bother him, the last thing he’s going to do is show everybody that it’s bothering him. He’s a very tough kid,” Josh said.

Michael takes puberty blockers. The next step is testosterone. Michael is ready.

“ He fully trusts his parents. It’s a little pressure on us. But he fully trusts that we are going to make sure he gets his care, and we will. But it’s scary for us,” Amanda said.

Gender-affirming care is banned for trans kids in North Carolina. It’s emotional for these parents.

“ I cry all the time. I’m an emotional person. It’s one of my superpowers. I try to own it. People know that I care,” Amanda said.

Through overriding a veto, Republican lawmakers also banned trans girls from sports. But the law doesn’t mention trans boys.

“The bill is written in such a way that it won’t impact him at all,” Josh said.

Josh even went to Raleigh to try to get lawmakers to have a change of heart. He knew it was unlikely. But his message then, he said, is still relevant now.

“You’re hurting real people. There are trans kids in this state that will hurt themselves because of what you’re doing. It’s a guarantee. It’s going to happen,” Josh said. “The only thing you really have to decide is if you can live with yourself after this.”

Both parents said if they need to travel out-of-state for gender-affirming care for their child, they will.

 

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