We Have to Love Our Lives Even More

Jewish writer and trans activist Hannah Simpson expands on the advice that got cheers outside the Stonewall

Each year, I volunteer with the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference Kids’ Camp programming for trans youth, their siblings, and children of gender-diverse parents. It is one way I pay forward those who helped me discover and uncover the woman you see today.

Some of these trans kids have become my little pen pals. We keep in contact throughout the year via postcards or Skype, with their parents’ encouragement. I was with one of them, she’s 10, on Sunday, marching beside her and her mother in Philadelphia’s Pride parade. This was Sunday morning, as the body count of the carnage in Orlando was becoming apparent.

How do you explain terror to a 10-year-old? How do you explain that she is safe and loved precisely for who she is, yet that some people instead hate her simply because she exists?

I could see her listening as the adults spoke. The only thing harder than answering her questions was wondering what she was not asking about.

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