A family of four — “father,” “mother,” “son” and “daughter” — in Queen Creek, Arizona are all “transgenders,” a term that biologists say has no basis in reality.
Queen Creek is a town of about 34,000, straddling Maricopa and Pinal counties.
Stina Sieg reports for KJZZ 91.5 in Phoenix, AZ, December 11, 2017, that the whole family of four “is in transition”:
- Daniel Harrot, 41, is the FtM (female to male) “father,” who lived most of his life as a woman.
- Shirley Austin, 62, is the “mother” — Daniel’s fiancé and a MtF (male to female) transgender.
- Joshua, 13, is the “daughter,” who was born male but claims to have known since she was 6 or 7 that she’s really a girl.
- Mason, 11, is the “son,” who now “is living as a boy, after being assigned female at birth”.
Daniel says trans people have been in his family for 100 years and that his grandmother’s sister was what people used to call a “cross-dresser.” The grandmother (X) was so “scared” by her sister’s behavior that X made sure her own daughter — Daniel’s mom — dressed feminine. Daniel’s mom, in turn, did the same by dressing her daughter, Daniel, in feminine clothes, insisting, “You must be a girl. This is who you were born to be.”
Daniel kept waiting for makeup and women’s clothing to feel right, but that never happened, even after marrying a man and giving birth to Joshua and Mason.
Last year, Joshua wanted to join the Girl Scouts, despite being a boy. That’s when Daniel looked up the word “transgender”. He said: “And when I finally looked it up, and I realized, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re trans, and I know it’s true – because I am, too, and it’s been my whole life.’”
Soon after, Joshua “came out” as a trans girl; Mason came out as a trans boy; and Daniel, wanting to protect and support his kids, decided “he” has to live as “his” authentic self, too. So Daniel cut “his” hair and went shopping — in the men’s section. “He” said: “I opened my eyes, looked in that dressing room mirror and went, ‘Oh this is it. This is perfect. This is me.’”
About the same time, Daniel met Shirley, a volunteer at a nonprofit for parents of trans youth. Shirley had been married before, to a woman.
Daniel and Shirley fell in love, despite their 21-year age gap. Daniel says they’re actually “very traditional” people: Daniel does the yard work; Shirley, the cooking. Shirley taught Daniel how to use a chainsaw; Daniel taught Shirley to memorize all the stones in “her” engagement ring, in case another woman asks.