So what makes Rebekah's story significant? Rebekah is transgender and was assigned the male gender at birth. It wasn't until she was 8 years-old that she began to live her life as her true-self. As a result of being assigned male at birth, Rebekah spent most of her short life suffering from mild anxiety and crippling depression, disorders most adults struggle to cope with.
Rebekah's mother, Jamie said:
We had a seven-year-old child in crisis. With the help of some excellent professionals and a lot of learning, we all came to realize she wasn’t a boy. She was a girl.
Today, with the ability to live as her true-self, Rebekah is thriving and using her experiences and her voice to send powerful messages inside and outside the transgender community. She wants to help people understand the struggles of transgender children like herself and she has been a powerful voice.
Since the changes President Trump has made to Obama's transgender bathroom protection laws, many of come together in support rallies across the United States. Here, we see Rebekah speaking at one.via:Twentytwowords
However, it was a sign that Rebekah carried with her that caused her voice and story to go viral on the Internet.
So what is all the fuss? Keep reading to find out.
Rebekah and her powerful sign.via:Facebook
Jamie, Rebekah's mom spoke about her daughter's sign and said:
She thought the sign was funny, because she’s not scary at all. It seems to have hit a nerve! People have so many misconceptions about transgender people, young and old. Transgender people are not a threat. In fact, they are the vulnerable ones. They need protection from discrimination, bullying and hate. Transgender rights are absolutely human rights.
Bruesehoff shared it on her Facebook page, "I am totally *that* mom" with a powerful caption.
Jamie posted this:via:Facebook
The photo, the sign, and Jamie's Facebook post sparked quite the debate. It was powerful and difficult, but most importantly, it was educational.
Some people seemed confused, Jamie was articulate and polite in her explanations.via:Facebook
Important discussions were being sparked left and right.via:Facebook
Voices of support.via:Facebook
Voices with no supportvia:Facebook
And voices of silence.via:Facebook
Jamie Bruesehoff has a strong belief that many people have irrational fears about transgender individuals because they have never met one and that leads to a lot of the controversy we see, even in her Facebook post.
Of course, that's not the end of this story...
Jamie says that she hopes by Rebekah sharing her story that she can be a positive agent of change and that her story can encourage more adults to be more empathetic towards the transgender community.
My kid is lucky. She has the support she needs. She fits in society’s box as a girl. Not every other child is so lucky. We have to constantly be fighting for those who are most vulnerable, those who don’t fit society’s expectations for a girl or a boy and those whose skin color, religion, or immigration status put them at even greater risk. We must keep striving to lift up the voices of those most vulnerable. Their voices are beautiful and bold and need to be heard!