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Dear Blue Jay: A letter to my 4-year-old trans daughter

Written by: Peter Pearson, Children’s Minnesota employee. This is a guest blog to Visibly Vibrant, a blog about pediatrics, gender health and more inclusive care for LGBTQ kids.

Dear Blue Jay,

I have a confession: I recycled some of those old Lego catalogs that were all over the floor. Like, the really old ones that Nana saved from when I was a kid. They’re cool and all, but there were a ton of them and you kept wanting to buy sets that just aren’t around anymore, and I thought, “You know? Maybe that doesn’t need to happen every day.” So, I recycled them. Honestly, that’s something I need to relearn every now and then: Just because I’ve kept something for a long time doesn’t mean I need to keep it forever. Sometimes it’s just not useful anymore and it’s OK to let it go.

You’ve always been pretty good about that, though. Like your name! Ever since you could talk, you’ve only answered to a name you’ve picked. Remember how you went by “Swamp Thing” for the whole summer when you were 2? Or “Peanut” or “Ocean Monster” or “Medusa” or “Bobster the T-Rex”? You’ve always had a sense of what fit and what didn’t, and now you’ve been “Blue Jay” for almost a year. I’ll admit, it’s starting to grow on me.

Peter's daughter playing with LEGOs

Back to Legos, though. What I did save is all the instruction booklets from my old sets that we’ve been building together. Sometimes we get through a whole build, but can I tell you a secret? I kind of love when we pause midway and you just strike off in some totally different direction. I love that you can pick up the exact same pieces I had when I was your age and build things I never even dreamed of. Things like Captain Cocoa’s Space Cruiser, a dizzying jumble of antennas and cables and lasers that she somehow pilots from outside the ship by holding onto a single Very Important Handle. Good stuff, buddy. Good stuff. 

Just yesterday, you told Mama that you’d taken the hands off some of your Lego figures because, “Sometimes people are born different.” And you know what? That’s true. Sometimes they are. I love that you know that. I suppose that makes sense for a kid who loudly declared that you wanted to be called SHE way back at Thanksgiving and hasn’t looked back. Thanks for being the kind of person who isn’t afraid to build what’s in your heart, even if other people say you can’t, even if you’ve never seen a picture of it before. And thanks for being patient as the rest of us try to keep up. We grown-ups really like the instruction booklets we grew up with and sometimes it’s hard to imagine building anything else. 

And now will you please – please – pick up your Legos. Seriously. Dinner is in like two minutes.



Children’s Minnesota Gender Health Program

The Children’s Minnesota Gender Health program is a resource for your family during times of transition. The Gender Health program is an exclusively pediatric, multidisciplinary gender health program, and includes pediatric gender health, endocrinology and gynecology physicians as well as social work.

The Gender Health program provides compassionate and comprehensive care for transgender and gender-diverse youth. We’re dedicated to serving as an essential medical partner and resource for transgender youth and families along their journey. We are here to help, every step along the way.