My 5 year old grandson, CJ,loves his favorite Uncle Kris A LOT. What he doesn’t know is that his uncle grew up as a girl. As a family we have discussed finding the best way and the right time to tell him. We know it won’t change his feeling towards his uncle in the least. He’s at the “town crier” stage in his life and out of respect for Kris, he doesn’t need to know yet. Since he is a bright kid, we realize that he might connect the dots and come to his own conclusions before we tell him. He has seen a small handful of pictures of Kerri as a little girl and he has seen the pictures around the house of Kris as a little boy.
Until that day comes, I have been looking for books to help him and his baby brother to understand. Well, as is the case in all things transgender, the offering of kids books that address the issue of gender are limited. On top of that, the vast majority of those books write about transgender girls (male to female).
And then I found the book Red by Michael Hall.
This is the story about a crayon who was red, at least that’s what his label said. The only problem was that he wasn’t very good at being red. People in his life suggested different remedies to help him feel more red. And they had a lot to say about him, including that he wasn’t trying hard enough.
This book is the perfect tool to introduce young children to the concept that the outside doesn’t always match the inside. In the end the blue crayon keeps his red label and I think that’s okay. It sends the message that it’s acceptable to be whatever color you are and labels don’t matter.
As for the lack of books that show little transgender boys (female to male), Kris and I plan on writing a book about a little spitfire named Kerri who grows up to be CJ and Beej’s Uncle Kris.