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The Schmooze

Mother of Trans Girl Pens Powerful Letter To Ivanka Trump

After the Trump administration squashed federal protection that allowed trans students to use the bathroom of their choice, one mother reached out to Ivanka Trump with an impassioned plea.

In a letter penned on Medium last week, Isabel Rose, who has an 8-year-old transgender daughter, sought to give Trump perspective — by focusing on their commonalities.

“I bet if we played a quick game of Six Degrees of Separation we would discover many mutual acquaintances,” the letter began. “…We are both from prominent New York real estate families, we both attended private all-girls schools and went on to earn degrees from Ivy League colleges, and we both married smart Jewish men and now have young children. And I suspect, from the photos you share on your Instagram feed, that we also share a love of motherhood and would do anything to ensure the happiness and security of our kids.”

Rose went onto detail her daughter’s journey, starting from an early desire to dress up in princess costumes and wear a pink bonnet.

“By four, Samuel broke out in hives when we tried to cut his hair, and at five he told us, through tears, that he wanted to burn his face off because it wasn’t a girl face,” she wrote. “He also tore at his genitalia with such hatred, I had to pin his arms down at his sides. ‘I’m not supposed to have a penis!’ he sobbed night after night.”

Rose explained that she sought professional help for Samuel, only to discover that her child was transgender. Before her sixth birthday, Samuel became Sadie — and Rose’s “once-miserable son” began to blossom.

While Rose wrote that it was definitely an adjustment, she pointed out that her main priority was the happiness of her child.

“I bet that if you were me, you would be as proud as I am of my brave Little Miss!” she added.

Rose then implored Trump to understand how it might feel to watch her own transgender daughter be forced to use the boy’s bathroom.

“Like me, you would look at your ultra-feminine 8-year-old, standing on the street corner waiting for the school bus, her already-elegant head held high, pink bow quivering in the wind, and you would say to yourself, ‘What on earth will my little princess do if someone forces her to go to the bathroom with the boys? She’ll be mortified! She’ll be bullied! She’ll be scared.’”

Then, came the call-to-action. She asked Trump to pull her father aside, discuss the rights of transgender children, and condemn the administration’s “wrong and unfair and un-American” new guidelines. Rose then offered to meet the president’s daughter in person to discuss these ideas further.

“Ivanka, put yourself in my Jimmy Choos,” she wrote. “What would you do if you were me?”

Thea Glassman is an Associate Editor at the Forward. Reach her at [email protected]

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