Live Interview with Ivy from Ivy's Journey - A Transgender Journey

Heather and Jasun *nodding and exchange hellos!* Can you see me clear?

*Heads nod*

Jasun: Hello Ivy! Good morning… Good afternoon your time? Good Afternoon!

Ivy: Umm morning…

Heather: time… afternoon

Ivy: Afternoon *Heather nods and agrees*

Jasun: My time, it’s 10 in the morning. First of all, I want to open and start this interview by greeting the audience! Good morning everybody. Welcome to DSTidbit News page! (Now The Deaf Report) I am thrilled to welcome you to our interview. We are interviewing a little girl named Ivy and talk about her journey. Our main goal is to have a healthy discussion Any bullying, profanity, or any problem causing will not be tolerated here.

(Ivy offering Heather more space on video and heather responds, thank you!)

Jasun: This is a safe space for our LGBT community! Thank you for your respect while we facilitate this interview.

(Side conversation between Ivy and Heather: you look fine!)

Jasun: OK! Hello Heather! You’re the mother right?

Heather: Yes

Jasun: Hello! My name is Jasun. *Jasun shows sign name*

Heather: Jasun *sign name*

Jasun: And your name is Ivy right?

Heather to Ivy: Look! Pay attention

Jasun: Ivy. Is that your name? Ivy? (Ivy Nods, Yes) What’s your sign name?

Heather: what’s your sign name?

Ivy: *Shows sign name*

Jasun: Ivy *copies sign name* Awesome! That’s a nice sign name! Ok so I will start asking you questions and I hope you can help answer me some questions!

Heather: To help better understand who you are!

Jasun: Cool! Awesome, Thank you Ivy. Ok I am curious, your name! Beautiful name, how did you pick it out!

Ivy: *shyly* Grandma gave it to me! Grandma..

Jasun: Mother?

Heather: Grandma

Jasun: Grandma! Do you like that name Ivy?

Ivy: *nods and smiles* Yes!

Jasun: Wow I love that name Ivy! I think it’s a beautiful name and it fits you! I’m curious, you decided to become a girl? How old were you?

Ivy: 5 years old

Jasun: 5? Wow! You’re a brave girl! I applaud you! 5! And how old are you now?

Ivy: 8!

Jasun: 5 to 8! Wow, 3 years!

Ivy: 5,6,7,8

Heather: No! This is not math! *Laughs*

Jasun: *laughs* I’m curious, are you happy now as a girl?

Ivy: Yes I am!

Jasun: Yes? Good Good! That is very very important! Your happiness inside. That’s the number 1 priority! What do you love most?

Ivy: *points to heather* and unicorns and dolls!

Jasun: Ohh! Your mom and dolls!

Ivy: And unicorns!

Heather: Turtles too

Jasun: Turtles?

Ivy: *Pulls out her stuffed unicorn and cuddles up to it*

Jasun: Unicorns! Oh yes! Unicorns my favorite too!

Heather: everybody favorite! *Points to unicorn*

Jasun: Yes! Everybody’s favorite! And what’s your favorite toy?! Unicorns? And Dolls? Which?

Ivy: *nods and smiles and holds the unicorn* both!

Jasun: what’s your favorite toy? You love holding dolls! But what’s your favorite toy?

Heather: That one doll, it’s a life-size doll at grandma’s house.

Jasun: Yes! That’s nice! You have a favorite toy at each place, your grandmas house and your home! You can go back and forth!

Ivy: *smiles and nods*

Jasun: and what’s your favorite color?

Ivy: Glitter and Rainbow!

Jasun: Glitter and Rainbows? All colors?

Heather: Rainbow, all colors.

Jasun: Ah rainbow! If you had to pick ONE color! Which is your favorite? I’m curious!

Ivy: *looks at heather and giggles*

Jasun: Purple? Pink? Blue? Green?

*Ivy repeats after Jasun*

Heather: Rainbow *shrugs*

Jasun: rainbow! All of them are your favorite colors! You’re so lucky! I only have one favorite color! I look at some of the other colors and nah.. you’re lucky! Ok I’m curious.. You’re 8 now, when you grow up, what do you want to be?

Ivy: Super Girl!

Jasun: Supergirl!? *Accidentally mouthed superman* Ohh like fly in this sky and

(Heather and Ivy tell Jasun he was frozen but is fine now)

Jasun: Oh? I was frozen! Ok thank you!! Supergirl? WOW! I love super girl! She is powerful

Ivy: You saw the movie?

Jasun: You match! Powerful! You’ve come out and been brave! You match perfectly!

Ivy: yes, I saw the movie!

Jasun: Your journey between five and eight, 3 years. How haws it been? Okay or wonderful or what?

Ivy: Good! *Thumbs up*

Jasun: Do you know why?

Heather: Because of support, a lot of support!

Jasun: Support? Because you, yourself are brave! That’s why!! I have a question, your mother has been very supportive of you during your journey, If you had anything to suggest to or advise your fans what would it be?

*Ivy looks at Heather*

Heather: If you’re talking to kids.

Ivy: You don’t need to be afraid! You will be fine! *Repeats*

Jasun: Ohh wow! Good advice. That’s good advice, don’t be afraid, you will be fine! You’re right!

*Ivy nods*

Jasun: Today online, people bully people and use ugly words. Ignore, they won’t hurt you! You are safe with your mother, your family, your friends. Safe

*Ivy says yes and then leans in to hug Heather*

*Heather flexes her arm and Jasun follows*

Jasun: Any last words you want to share with your fans?

Ivy: I love you! Thank you everybody!

Jasun: Aww! I love you, thank you!! I’m sure your fans love you too! I am very excited to see how your journey unfolds! Thank you for joining me! Now I’m going to switch over to your mother.

Heather speaking to Ivy: You can go and spend some time with your siblings.

*Ivy departs*

Jasun: Aww your girl is so cute!

Heather: Thank you!

Jasun: So, I’m curious How many children do you have?

Heather: I have five children. Zion who is deaf, 10,  boy. Ivy who is 8 deaf of course. Chanoch who is 6 and deaf. Dustin who is not mine but I’ve adopted him from my boyfriend. He’s a KODA and is 5 years old. Our baby girl, Mirlabelle-lily *sign* who is 22 months old.

Jasun: Wow, 5 children! Full time mother! And you have 2 boys *Heather jumps in and corrects him - 3 boys* 3 boys and 2 girls! Wow! Now you’ve added a new daughter! How do you feel about that?

Heather: Oh, I feel the same because she’s my kid. I’ve known her from the bottom of her heart. I birthed her.  I don’t really think of gender itself, really. She’s my kid, that’s it.

Jasun: True!

Heather: There is no discussion there. I love all my kids.

Jasun: Kids are kids, period! It’s not about gender. That really changes my perspective now.  Looking at your child, you don’t look at them as one gender. They’re human. Yes, I agree. So what prompted you to start Ivy’s page on Facebook?

Heather: Since she came out to me, I felt confused, lost, I had no idea where to go for additional information. Yes, the hearing community has resources for LGBTQAI+ but for deaf awareness, their culture, their community. Do they know that well? No, how do I build a rapport and communicate? It’s difficult. So, since she came out, I found a deaf family that has a transgender daughter. I did reach out to them asking for advice and they ave me a lot of great advice. But that’s not enough for parents out there. How do we provide that resource? How?

Jasun: and why was that not enough? You are both deaf but that’s not enough?

Heather: Because when me and Ivy and my family went to “Stand with transgender” an organization here in Michigan. They have events and they did provide interpreters from an ITP program with mentors. it was a great experience yes, but not for her. I saw that it wasn’t being beneficial for her, she’s deaf. She had no peers that were deaf involved with her. Where are the deaf youth? And finally after she made her vlog, She has one trans deaf make a vlog on her page. She also found more deaf trans children. They’ve connected with Ivy and it’s been great.   We need that and there’s not much of that out there!

Jasun: So social media started and then more and more people are showing up and providing support. This is also unity! That’s great! Wow, Social Media is a powerful tool! I think that’s great! I’m happy about that.

Heather: yes, yes *nods*

Jasun: What is it like for you as a mother when you face something unfamiliar such as trans. Facing it, hmm, okay, how do I deal with that situation? What was it like?

Heather: Ugh… Shit Excuse my language. At first when she came out, I was confused,  and felt like my whole world had flipped. like no! I was one of those people who believed “boy is a boy and a girl is a girl”. We fought through it tooth and nail. It was a struggle but she is a tough girl. She doesn’t let anybody stand in her way. I tried to understand and I looked back and realized all those signs, she had been trying to tell me all along. So I spent some time researching gender identity and asking questions, Educate myself. Get involved in the community, be part of a parents of trans group. And understand where the child comes from. I learned one thing, that It’s not about me, it’s about the child and their gender journey. It’s self assessment and Oh! So they can understand where they stand.

Jasun: WOW. A very emotional journey for you! I can’t imagine that because I’ve never experienced that myself.

Heather: Yes, she is very different than all my other children. (Her siblings) very different. And her best friend since 2 at school knows her as from before her transition and already knew this was going to happen.  And they’re still best friends. That’s really amazing how children don’t judge. others. They don’t. Unlike adults. Unfortunately.

Jasun: Yes, I don’t know if my perspective is different I feel like I’m a little lucky in our community because within our community, we tend to be more accepting than overall people.

Heather: Right

Jasun: That’s our advantage, and the LGBTQ+ community is even smaller than the deaf community and that’s a huge challenge.

Heather: Yes

Jasun: Do you feel like as a mother, do you feel that when you felt limited, it frustrated you that you couldn’t provide for your daughter’s needs?

Heather: Yes for example I want to provide that need to meet other trans children like groups and I can’t. Will they be interested interacting with a trans child that’s deaf? I don’t know and it’s tough because from what I’ve seen at events, she isn’t very aggressive. People know she’s deaf  but there’s no connection. Somewhere there is a big gap and that gap needs to be connected.

Jasun: Yes, I know there’s one org. Called Deaf Queer Resource Center.

Heather: We just found out about that organization! Now we are trying to connect with them and work on the website to set up for parents of trans children so they have good resources where kids can connect and not feel alone.

Jasun: Yes, that’s nice to have that resource. What have you learned from the whole process?

Heather: Like I said, it’s not about you, it’s not about me, it’s all about the child.  And their feelings, assessment and their journey. As their identity. Just leave it! Understand, really, my feelings are important and I’m letting parents know that your feelings are important  but keep it separate from the child. Your child has their own feelings and you have your own feelings. Find a safe space, talk with a therapist someone close. Discuss your feelings because that’s important and in order to hold onto your child and your relationship, listen by love and accept. For who they are. That’s what I’ve learned from that whole process. And this applies to all of my kids.  Whatever they tell me, I’ll accept it.

Jasun: I just thought of a last minute question if you don’t mind?!I mention “son, daughter” am  I wrong to do that? I mean I realize there’s no right or wrong but  If suppose, Educate me If I want to be held accountable. What is the proper way to address a child’s gender.

Heather: They?  As in single pronoun until the child corrects you. That’s the most positive way for a child to determine their own identity. Start out that way.

Jasun: That’s good! I’m part of the LGBT community and I could be very ignorant in some areas!

Heather: For me, it’s good. I enjoy watching people online discuss finally something to discuss to bring awareness about youth trans children. This is important we need to educate and discuss how to provide a better environment for trans youth.

Jasun: I agree with you. I want to know what would you like to tell your audience?

Heather: I want to tell all parents out there and guardians, foster parents, What happens when your child comes out, breathe. Think back all you want is a healthy baby, happy baby. You don’t care what gender. Think of that and realize the child is all about their journey. Not about you. About the child’s authentic self. The real self. That’s really important. Like I said, our feelings and terror feelings need to be separate. That’s important to help build a strong relationship between you two. Lastly when the child tells you something, please believe them. They’re being honest! Make sure you give them support acceptance and a lot of love. The last thing. It’s important to focus on now, not the future. Don’t worry about the future.  Married? Have children? Don’t worry about that! Just focus on present and what is in fronton you is a beautiful child who is sharing their journey with you. Look at them and give them everything, love, interaction, acceptance!

Jasun: Unconditional Love

Heather: Yes 100 percent. You can do this! You were born to be their parent period!

Jasun: Wow that’s a powerful statement and I completely agree with you. I can’t imagine. I can’t say that really because I’m not in that Journey. All I can do is learn your process and treat others better. The best I can. And give ally-ship! Really, that’s very inspiring. I want to thank you so much for joining us today!  I really enjoyed this interview! I hope this will impact

Heather: I have one thing to add

Jasun: Sure! Go ahead.

Heather: One thing to apply to the deaf community. Please get yourselves educated. Discuss, talk about this. Get thew rod out read, read articles, internet. etc. Learn from others and pay attention to every answer to your question because that’s important to discuss and see the effects on the trans child. Because we need to protect our  trans children because seriously,  the president, political bullshit. That’s all I can say.

Jasun: Good answer! Great!  Yes I’m totally with you. Thank you for joining and we appreciate it and if you can come back to the comments and say things to people in the comment area that would be great.  Would you be willing!?

Heather: Yes! Thank you for having us and thank you everybody for supporting us! Love you everybody!

Jasun: Thank you for sharing your journey with us! Take care!

Heather: Uhh how do I exit!?

Jasun: Click finish

*Heather leaves video*

Jasun: Heather the mother of Ivy, their journey is challenging. I hope and ask everybody to give the support through this!  Wow there are not very many LGBTQ+ Youth trans not very many so they need the recognition and support so please I am asking you to give them the support they deserve. I would like to again emphasize profanity, hate comments, etc. Will not be tolerated and will be removed.  Thank you for joining!