Q & A with author of “Raising Ryland”
Source: Foothills United Methodist Church press release
August 21, 2016 (La Mesa) - “When the family dies I’m going to cut my hair so I can be a boy,” said Ryland Whittington when he was just four years old. His family was stunned.
While some cross-play and cross-dressing is normal in children, Ryland’s mom, Hillary Whittington said, it was clear her child had been in emotional pain for several years.
“This was not an overnight decision,” Hillary said. She began researching transgender children and slowly came to the realization her child may be a transgender person.
Hillary will be talking about their difficult and sometimes painful journey at a book signing and complementary brunch Sunday, August 21, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Foothills United Methodist Church, 4031 Avocado Blvd. La Mesa, CA 91941. Her husband, Jeff, and their two children, Ryland, 8, and Brynley, 4, will also be available. There will be time for questions from the audience. Jeff and Hillary Whittington are members of this church.
Hillary’s book, “Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached” was recently published and has landed her and her family on many network and local news shows. The family was the subject of a CNN documentary, “Raising Ryland: Parenting a Transgender Child.” The band, “High Dive Heart” tells the Ryland family story in their new music video ”Misfit.”
“Ryland’s persistence went on for three years, beginning when he was two years old,” Hillary said. “I had to get to the bottom of it.”
Jeff was a firefighter and was gone for long hours so he didn’t see the tenacity and torment Hillary saw in their child. It took many conversations, and visits to a psychologist and a support group before he was convinced. Now he is fully supportive and engaged in the effort to inform the public about transgender issues.
“There are so many ways to make a family,” said Hillary.