Democrat and mum of ‘incredible trans kid’ pays heartfelt tribute to ‘all the trans kids out there’

Pramila Jayapal Democrat congresswoman trans kid

Washington lawmaker Pramila Jayapal shared a heartfelt tribute on social media to all trans kids – including her own – in honour of Mother’s Day.

The Democrat celebrates Mother’s Day in the US with a photograph of herself and her child, who came out to her as gender non-conforming in 2018. Jayapal, who was born in Madras, India, represents most of Seattle, Washington. Before entering politics, she worked as a civil rights activist, which has carried into her current career. She is also the mother of two children. Janak, Jayapal’s child from a previous marriage, is non-binary, and Jayapal also has a step-son named Michael.

Jayapal shared Janak’s story during a House judiciary committee hearing in 2019, explaining how she had come to understand “their newfound freedom” to express their identity “from a deeply personal mother’s perspective”.

Celebrating her pride in her child on Sunday (10 May), Jayapal wrote: “As a proud mother of an incredible trans kid, I want to take this moment on Mother’s Day to say to all the trans kids out there – I see you, I hear you, and I appreciate you.”

Jayapal’s tweet was met with a warm welcome, garnering over 47,000 likes on Twitter.

Mothers of trans kids took the time to thank Jayapal for continuing to fight for the rights of LGBT+ people across the US.

During her passionate 2019 speech, Jayapal shared that her child’s “embracing of their non-conforming gender identity” allowed “their brilliance” and “their self-expression” to come out. She added: “The only thought I wake up with every day is: ‘My child is free. My child is free to be who they are’.”

Jayapal also described how wonderful it had been to see her children celebrate their “newfound freedom to wear a dress, to rid themselves of some conformist stereotype of who they are, to be able to express who they are at their real core”.

In a 2020 interview with Bustle, Jayapal shared that her understanding of gender developed from growing up in India and Indonesia, which she described as “places where there was no fluid concept of gender”. She shared that her “dear friend and writing mentor”, Ursula Le Guin, helped her to question the gender binary when she was in her “early 30s”. Jayapal shared that Guin’s books, which “eschew any sense of traditional gender”, caused her to question “why do we have these genders anyway”.

“At that time, I still understood it to be a binary, but Ursula’s writing made me question what was real, what was science and what was possible,” she explained.