A mom shared her nonbinary child's new found identity in a heartwarming Instagram post of their holiday family photo.
It all started for Jennifer Chen and her family when she read a bedtime story to her twins. She read It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn when Clark expressed their identity for the first time.
At one point in the story, a nonbinary identity was explained and that's when Clark said:
“That’s how I feel."
"I don’t feel like a boy or a girl.”
Clark reaffirmed their feelings when reading a second story about nonbinary identity.
Their name came about by accident. Someone working at their school misheard their deadname and mistook it as Clark. Since then, the name stuck.
Chen and her family have continued to affirm Clark's identity with they/them/their pronouns, a short haircut and new clothes.
Even though Chen was nervous about how her conservative Facebook friends would react or how other parents would judge her, she made the post anyway and announced her child's identity to the world.
The post's caption read:
"Clark prefers they/them/he pronouns and would like to be known as my kid/my son who is non-binary."
"Clark asked us to tell our friends & family who they are now."
"Brendan and I support Clark in their journey."
"Chloe is the first to correct me when I accidentally use the wrong pronouns or name."
"As a family, we love Clark and support whatever their journey might hold."
"For me, when we've honored their choices to cut their hair short or wear clothes that feel like them, the JOY & LIGHT on Clark's face is what lets me know that we are doing the right thing."
"I ask that if you disagree with our family's choice—that you tell me privately in a message—rather than put it in a public comment."
"Not everyone will understand our decision to respect Clark's choices, but we love Clark and that's all that matters."
The comments have been turned off on this post but Chen explained in an article on Today they only received support.
One comment said:
“Hi Clark! We love you.”
Another comment read:
“Welp, here I am crying happy tears."
"This is wonderful. You are all wonderful.”
Chen said she didn't receive a single negative message either.
Chen and her husband, Brendan, really went above and beyond to make Clark feel accepted for who they are.
Initially, Chen brought Clark to a hair salon who tried to talk them out of getting a pixy cut. After settling on a cut not as short, they decided to try another salon.
Brendan even found a hairstylist that identified as nonbinary themselves. When Clark came home, Chen made sure to express how good they look with short hair.
Shortly after starting kindergarten, Clark announced to their class their new name. The school was amazingly supportive and changed their name tag and cubby to reflect the name "Clark."
When Chen arrive at their after school program, one teacher said:
“Clark already told us.”
Chen is especially proud of both twins for being incredibly brave and supportive.
"Before they went to bed that night, I sat with them on our living room couch—a place where I used to tandem nurse them—and told Chloe and Clark I was very proud."
"Proud of Chloe for loving and supporting her twin, and of Clark for sharing their identity with people."
"My twins were mystified. 'Mommy, why would anyone not love someone for who they are?'"
"I struggled to answer this question."
"I came up with: 'Sometimes, people are scared of what they don’t know and they let their fear get in the way'."
"Chloe and Clark were still baffled, but accepted my answer."
Even though it was fear that took hold of Chen the day she made the post, it was love that took fear's place in the end.