LA mother Jennifer Chen says she has only received support after sharing that her child, Clark, is non-binary.
Chen said that her child, Clark, first said they are non-binary when she was reading them and their twin, Chloe, a bedtime story: It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn.
During the story, Clark pointed to the non-binary description, explaining: “That’s how I feel. I don’t feel like a boy or a girl.” After reading a second bedtime story on gender identity, Clark reaffirmed their feelings. Since then, the family has been supporting them in their newfound identity. This has included new clothes, a new haircut, a new name and pronoun changes.
Jennifer explained that Clark’s new name came about when a dinner lady at school had misheard their name, inspiring the change. After deciding on the change, it was Clark’s twin, Chloe, who would correct their parents when they got it wrong.
She shared their story on Instagram, along with a snap of their family’s holiday photo.
“I’d like you all to meet Clark… Clark prefers they/them/he pronouns and would like to be known as my kid/my son who is non-binary. Clark asked us to tell our friends & family who they are now,” said Jennifer in her post.
“Brendan and I support Clark in their journey. Chloe is the first to correct me when I accidentally use the wrong pronouns or name,” she explained. “As a family, we love Clark and support whatever their journey might hold.”
“For me, when we’ve honoured their choices to cut their hair short or wear clothes that feel like them, the JOY & LIGHT on Clark’s face is what lets me know that we are doing the right thing.”
The mother ended her post by asking that any negative comments were sent to her privately. However, she told Today that this has not been a problem, with comments being entirely supportive.
She also explained to the twins that she was proud of them, reading them the comments under her post.
“Before they went to bed that night, I sat with them on our living room couch — a place where I used to tandem nurse them — and told Chloe and Clark I was very proud. Proud of Chloe for loving and supporting her twin, and of Clark for sharing their identity with people,” she wrote.
“My twins were mystified. ‘Mommy, why would anyone not love someone for who they are?’ I struggled to answer this question. I came up with: ‘Sometimes, people are scared of what they don’t know and they let their fear get in the way.’”