In spite of the movement's success, coming out as transgender is still a struggle. We rounded up five of the web's most touching videos from and about transgender people.
1. Ryland's story: The Whittingtons thought their toughest obstacle was over after their deaf baby girl Ryland received cochlear implants and gained hearing.
They soon learned that their struggles were far from over when they found their young child constantly in tears over her gender identity. "When the family dies, I will cut my hair so I can be a boy," Ryland once told them. "Why did God make me like this?"
After discovering that Ryland was transgender, the Whittingtons decided to raise him as a boy, particularly after learning the alarming suicide rates of transgender people. We dare you not to cry as you watch this beautiful story about a little boy and his loving family.
2. Transgender homecoming queen breaks down amid backlash: Nobody knew better than transgender teen Cassidy Lynn Campbell how monumental it was to be named homecoming queen at her Huntington Beach, California, high school. "I should be so happy," she said on camera.
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But she wasn't: In her pink gown, tiara and sash, Campbell bawled on camera. “I can never have something just good happen to me and have people be happy for me,” she cried after receiving floods of nasty comments from cyber bullies. “Sometimes I wonder if it’s even worth it and if I should just go back to being miserable and just be a boy. I hate myself. I hate my life.”
Campbell has since regained her poise and recently spoke to Time about her mission to foster transgender acceptance.
3. Swimsuit model Geena Rocero comes out: Beautiful swimsuit model Geena Rocero seemed to have it all, but in a TED talk in the fall, Rocero admitted that she hadn't been true to herself. She pointed at a sexy photo of herself in a swimsuit and said, “When I look at this picture, at that time I felt like, Geena, you’ve done it, you’ve made it, you have arrived. But this past October, I realized that I’m only just beginning.” She then revealed that she was born with male genitalia, though she always identified as a woman.
Rocero called her TED talk her official coming out, and said she was doing it in honor of trans community members who committed suicide. “Our suicide rate is nine times higher than that of the general population,” she said. “Every November 20, we have a global vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance. I’m here at this stage because it’s a long history of people who fought and stood up for injustice.”
4. Unconditional love: What does it mean to be a good parent? Christy Hegarty, an advocate for families with transgender children, admitted, "I didn't get it," she said of her transgender daughter. She said she was in denial when daughter, who was born male, wanted to wear girls' clothes, but had an epiphany one day when she went shopping for back-to-school clothes with her three children. Watch this video to find out how Hegarty learned to provide her daughter with the unconditional love and support she needed.
5. Teen transgender couple discuss breakup: It seemed like a match made in heaven. Transgender teens Katie Hill and Arin Andrews made headlines with their good looks and unique back story: The two met as they were transitioning and supported each other throughout the process. But Hill and Andrews split last year, and opened up about their decision to let go of each other even though they still share a special bond and friendship. Hill and Andrews are both publishing books together this fall.
Read Metro's exclusive feature on Metro Philadelphia's transgender salesperson, Jennifer Lydon, and her journey to "becoming Jen."