Ray Skyer, a biologically female first-grade teacher at Brooke Roslindale School in the Boston area, came out to young students via a Zoom call, telling them as well that doctors "guess" when they identify the genders of newborn babies.
The school was hosting an "identity share" for students from kindergarten through second grade, and Skyer was introduced by the assistant principal, who told the children that Skyer was going to reveal something really "cool" about themselves.
"So, something that’s really cool and unique about who I am is that I am transgender," Skyer said. "So we touched a little bit about that at the beginning of this week, in the book that Miss Hammond read, but I'm gonna give you my explanation about what it means to be transgender as well."
"So, when babies are born, the doctor looks at them and they make a guess about whether the baby is a boy or girl based on what they look like," the first-grade teacher continued.
"And most of the time that guess is 100-percent correct; there are no issues whatsoever, but sometimes, the doctor is wrong; the doctor makes an incorrect guess," Skyer went on.
"When a doctor makes a correct guess, that’s when a person is called cisgender. When a doctor’s guess is wrong that’s when they are transgender. So, I’m a man, but when I was a baby the doctors told my parents I was a girl," Skyer said.
Skyer then explained how this played out. "So my parents gave me a name that girls typically have, and bought me clothes that girls typically wear. And until I was 18 years old, people thought I was a girl.
"And this was super, super uncomfortable for me," Skyer said, "because I knew that wasn't right. The way I like to describe it is like wearing a super itchy sweater, the longer you wear it the itchier it gets and the only way to make it stop is to have everyone see and know the person that you really are."
"So when I was 18," Skyer said, "I told my friends and family that I was really a boy and it was like this huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders," Skyer extended arms to indicate the breadth and scope of the relief.
"And I had the freedom to be who I truly am. And even though this experience is super challenging sometimes," Skyer said, "I am super—it made me the person I am, and I am super proud to be trans gender."
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