In a video by Equality Utah for their series, "We Are Utah," Grayson, a transgender Mormon teen, shares his story of realizing who he is and finding acceptance from family and among faith leaders at his church. Grayson's mother, Neca, is also featured in the video discussing her own process around her son's transition and her hopes for LGBT families in Utah.
When Grayson was in high school, Neca explains, he dealt with anxiety and emotional "crashes" that kept him from focusing on his schoolwork and everyday activities. After talking and ruling out other issues, it became clear that Grayson was coming to terms with his gender identity. With the support of his family, Grayson decided to transition, and when he did, the crashes he experienced went away all together.
"It was so wonderful to get my kid back," said Neca of that time. "I felt like I had my bright, happy, outgoing kid back."
Grayson also discussed the response from his school after he asked to be called by the name and pronouns with which he identifies.
"The administration was able to show a good example to the student body of being willing to accept those of us who are different. That was a huge a gift, but there are a lot of young trans people who don’t have that good of an experience – who experience a lot of prejudice, both from their peers and from the adults that they should be able to trust."
Speaking about her own hopes for Utah, Neca added:
"As a parent, if I could wave a magic wand and make Utah a better place, I would make it a place where, when parents see they have a child that needs to live authentically as the gender they feel they are…that those parents will love their child. Love the child that God gave them, instead of just the child they think God should've given them."
Watch the full video form Equality Utah below: