I’m Sad Because I’m A Boy

All parents are worried for their childrens’ futures but James Christian and Mary Carter have a little more to worry about with their daughter Jackie.  Jackie was born Jack and is now a toddler transitioning.

Jackie’s birthday is in mid-October, but for Carter and Christian, a second date is seared in memory almost as intensely — what Carter calls “The Day.” On May 15, 2014, Jackie, who was normally a happy toddler, Carter noticed something was off. When asked Jackie put her head down and said “I’m sad because I’m a boy.”

Carter responded by asking Jackie “Well, are you happy being you?” and that made Jackie smile. Carter said Jackie being happy is all that really mattered and that become “The Day.”

A new job for Christian had prompted the family to move from Atlanta to Oakland two years ago. Carter and Christian say they feel lucky they’ve landed there. The Bay Area is one of the most LGBT friendly regions in the nation. The challenges ahead might be far greater, Christian says, if they’d stayed in the South.

It’s only been a little more than a year since Jack became Jackie. Neither of her parents has any illusions about the potential struggles ahead. Transgender people have alarmingly high rates of depression, substance abuse and suicide.

“There will be more challenges, certainly, as Jackie gets older and gets around more kids,” Christian says. “Then puberty, and dating, and the challenges will be like a very steep curve. But I’m hoping that by the time she gets there, I hope, one, we’ve given her the tools and two, that there’s more acceptance of this issue.”


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