Anoosh Jorjorian and Kevin Miller's child Ocho (not his real name) started pre-Kindergarten this year. At just 6 years old, Ocho doesn't yet know that society is obsessed with labels—be it male, female, or transgender—and he's enjoying youth, in a stage Jorjorian and Miller describe as "gender-creative." The couple wrote a letter to the parents of Ocho's classmates to film them in. Their goal was to create a safe space for Ocho at school.
Jorjorian and Miller forwarded the letter to the non-profit Black Girl Dangerous to inspire and inform other parents. And maybe to brag about how progressive their family is. No parents can resist bragging.
Hello, TK class,
It was a pleasure to see some of you at the TK play date on Saturday!
We wanted to write all of you about our child, Ocho. Ocho was born as a boy, but we are currently describing him as “gender creative.” We know this might be a bit unfamiliar to the parents and possibly a bit confusing for the kids, so we wanted to outline how we are talking about Ocho’s gender with his teacher as well as open a space in case anyone has questions for us.
We know that many boys often dress as girls when they are young. Ocho has been expressing a preference for girl clothing for over a year, becoming more consistent with this preference over time. Sometimes Ocho identifies as a girl, or talks about becoming a girl.
We have told Ocho that he can be whichever gender he wants, and that if he doesn’t want to choose, he doesn’t have to. Most of the time, he prefers not to identify as a girl or a boy, but just as “Ocho.”
We don’t know yet if Ocho is transgender. We are in touch with a few transgender friends as well as parents raising transgender kids to make sure we are supporting him as well as we can as his identity develops. Currently, we are still using male pronouns with him at home.
We often hear from other kids, “Is Ocho a girl or a boy?” In those situations, we say, “Sometimes Ocho feels like a girl, sometimes he feels like a boy. But he’s always Ocho, and he likes to play lots of different things.” Ocho does, in fact, like “boy” things, like trains and airplanes, as well as “girl” things, like Frozen and Strawberry Shortcake.
We know this is unfamiliar territory, and we are trying to work it out as we go along. We hope that if you have any questions, or if your child asks you questions that you don’t know how to answer, that you will feel comfortable talking with us.
Thanks so much for reading through this, and we look forward to a wonderful first year of elementary school! We hope to meet more of you in person as the year progresses.
Anoosh Jorjorian and Kevin Miller
Here's hoping that Ocho finds the support he needs at school, and that his real name is nothing like "Ocho."