When Ashton Mota was only 12 years old, he did an extremely brave thing–came out as transgender to his mother and his school community. There is not one perfect definition for what it means to be transgender, but for Ashton, it meant that he had always known in his heart and his mind that he was male, but when he was born, doctors and his family thought he was female because of his body parts and chromosomes. It was hard for Ashton to tell his family and school, but he felt so much better when he could dress in clothes that felt right, have people call him the name that fit him, and use the bathroom where people of his gender would go. But many transgender kids across the country and the world do not have experiences that are safe, positive and affirming. Ashton travels around the country giving talks to communities to ask them to become safe spaces for LGBTQIA kids, but he also talks to kids and families so they know that there are other transgender kids out there, and that things can get better for them. Ashton wants kids to know that it is okay to be transgender, that it is an identity to celebrate!
To learn more about Ashton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsBzbZbLQgg
What are some ways you can be supportive of people at your school who are different than you? If you know a student is transgender (and you will only know when they tell you, you don’t get to “guess” or assume it), how could you support them? What are things you can do to support and celebrate all the different identities in your classroom?
Closing prayer: Dear God, thank you for making all different kinds of people. Help us make sure each of them feels safe, supported and loved. Amen