33 minutes | Jan 31, 2018

009: A Mother’s Fight to Make the World A Better, Safer Place for her Transgender Son with Amber Briggle

Every parent wants to protect their child from danger and harm. For some parents, it’s harder than others. Meet Amber Briggle, the self-proclaimed, fiercely protective mama bear of Max, a 9-year old transgender boy. This episode of Rewriting The Rules is a powerful story of a mother’s journey with her transgender son. It is about standing up to bullies and protecting transgender people and their right to exist in society. It is about the importance of standing in community with each other, speaking up for your values and the power that can come from that. It is about being your authentic self. Amber had her 15 minutes of fame in summer 2017, when a picture taken of her comforting her transgender son, Max, went viral. The experience showed Amber the power of an individual person’s story and how putting a name and a face to an issue that people talk about in theory can change the entire conversation. Fear for physical safety. Systemic discrimination by society. Bathroom bills. Being fired from your job without cause. Being denied housing, or services. Daily tweets from the President. These are just a few of the ways transgender people are marginalized in our society. Amber shares grappling with her own difficulties and challenges of accepting, and then embracing, the reality of having a transgender son. At the end of the day, she chose to live her life out of love, and not out of fear. Thus, began her journey, and her son Max’s journey, as activists fighting for LGBTQ rights. Tune in to listen to Amber’s inspirational story of how she and her son are rewriting the rules for transgender people everywhere.   Key Takeaways: [1:12] What’s the story behind the picture of Amber and Max that went viral? [7:39] When did Amber first realize that she was going to have to rewrite the rules for Max? [11:56] What was the process like for Amber of setting aside the expectations she had of her child to the point of being able to accept Max for himself? [15:09] Amber refers to herself as a “mama bear.” How did she develop this sense of herself? [17:13] How did Amber step into the advocacy role? [20:05] What has Amber learned about advocacy that can help other parents build that muscle? [22:02] How did Amber decide to be so forthcoming with her story and with Max’s story? [25:33] What is Max’s perspective on the role he is playing in rewriting the rules? [27:21] How does Amber wish the world viewed gender? [29:14] What’s it like living in the presence of someone who has to rewrite the rules for himself every single day? [31:38] Get in touch with Amber and Max and follow their journey via their website and social media.   Mentioned in this Episode: Rewrite the Rules Rewrite the Rules Podcast Heather Whaling Heather Whaling on Twitter #RewriteTheRules Adam Singer — Music Amber Briggle on Facebook Amber Briggle on Twitter Love to the Max That Viral Photo Of My Trans Son Crying? Here's What's Really Going On, by Amber Briggle National Center for Transgender Equality Human Rights Campaign Equality Texas American Civil Liberties Union Jazz Jennings #TransVisible  
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