A retraction of an unusual kind was printed in an Australian newspaper this week and it’s gaining notice around the world. The retraction was in regard to a birth notice from 1995; the birth of Elizabeth Anne Bogert, to be exact. But 19-year old Elizabeth, who goes by the name Kai, recently told her parents she identifies as a boy now. They responded in a way one hopes every parent would respond: they issued the following retraction on December 2nd in The Courier-Mail :
“In 1995 we announced the arrival of our sprogget, Elizabeth Anne, as a daughter. He informs us that we were mistaken. Oops! Our bad. We would like to present our wonderful son – Kai Bogert. Loving you is the easiest thing in the world. Tidy your room.”
The birth notice got such a huge reaction The Courier-Mail published a follow up piece about the Bogerts in which Yolanda Bogert told the paper that placing the ad in the paper was a “no-brainer.”
“I needed to show my son I support him 100 per cent and wanted to let the world know that … It is all very new to us. Kai just told me a few days ago that he no longer wanted to live as a girl .. There [were] little signs along the way when he was little and [it] certainly was more evident in later years but it was never really discussed openly.”
That said, Yolanda is overwhelmed by the worldwide attention the ad has garnered. She just meant for Kai and his friends to see it. “I didn’t do this for the public attention, I did it for no other reason than to show Kai that he always has and always will have our love and support. I am so proud of him. It has been a very big week and all this is very new to us. I have known over the years that Kai was different. We stumbled upon things over the years. When we went clothes shopping he had no interest in girls’ clothes. I have no regrets that I have two sons now and not a daughter. Why would I?”
Kai is obviously thrilled, telling The Courier-Mail how his mom initially reacted to the news. “Mum just gave me a massive hug, my step dad and little brother offered me their love and support and immediately started calling me “he” instead of “she”, everything felt good. But I had no idea that my mum was going to put an advertisement in the paper. That grand gesture just blew me away. I always knew I had her 100 per cent support but what she did was special. She is always funny and sees [the] light side of things and is 100 per cent accepting. I am so happy with what she has done. This last week has changed everything for me … I am still me but I am more me than I was a few days ago and feel free.”
It’s such a beautiful parental act. It’s not easy to hear the child you adore tell you they were born the wrong gender. In many cases, it feels like the death of a child and I can understand how devastated so many parents feel upon hearing the news. Which is why so many transgender people live in fear and shame of revealing their true selves. Nonetheless, your child is still the same person, the same child you gave birth to and raised and, just as Kai’s parents have done, other parents of transgender individuals have the power to set them free. What an amazing thing to be able to do for your child! Offer them acceptance and the freedom to be who they feel. Unconditional love and acceptance above all things. The type of support every child deserves when facing agonizing decisions, especially in regard to gender.
Jacqueline Kinging says it best in a comment on The Courier-Mail website, “Sign of a new era and you’re a pioneer! Be proud, change ideals, challenge stereotypes, and alter cultural norms leading society to embrace people for who they are.”
By the way, Kai wants to make it clear that his room is tidy. That was just mom’s way of showing life would continue as usual. Well done, mom! We should all be so lucky to have a mom like you.
Image source: FacebookMore On