Jen Slipakoff is a mother. And like most mothers, her primary concern is that her children are safe and happy. But when it comes to her eight-year-old daughter, Allie, she worries. Allie is a transgender girl, meaning she was born and raised a boy but persistently and consistently expressed that she is a girl, and so she transitioned and now lives happily every day as the girl she has long known herself to be. Right now there are no explicit laws protecting transgender people in Georgia, and without protections, Jen fears for her daughter’s safety and is worried Allie will face discrimination.
Jen knows that a lot of the misunderstanding and misinformation about who transgender people are is based on a fear of the unknown. But she’s confident that if more people knew someone who is transgender or heard more stories about who transgender people really are, they would realize, as she did, that transgender people are our family members and friends, neighbors and coworkers. They are our loved ones and they have the same hopes and aspirations as the rest of us. “We all teach our children to treat others the way they’d want to be treated, and we remind them that everyone is worthy of dignity and respect,” she said. “Those are values we should remember. I would do anything to protect Allie and give her the brightest future possible.”