A transgender woman says she feels "lucky" because her mom, who is suffering from dementia and must be told repeatedly that her daughter is transgender, always has the same beautiful response.
Tina Healy came out as transgender three and a half years ago, and now works as a disability support worker and an advocate for Gender Diversity Australia.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation did a feature on Healy and her family on Wednesday after Healy's daughter Jessica Walton wrote a book for children about being transgender.
Healy told BuzzFeed News that her daughter decided to write the book after she found there was little reading material for kids about being transgender.
"When I heard what she had planned, and showed me the Kickstarter video she had put together, it was such a beautiful display of love and acceptance," she said.
During the interview with the ABC, Healy shared a heartbreakingly beautiful anecdote about coming out to her mom. She explained her mom has dementia, and she was worried about coming out to her at first.
However, Healy said her mom accepted her immediately.
"And she said – at the end of it, she said, 'Well,' she said, 'What do you know?' She said, 'I've got a beautiful new daughter.' And she said, 'Come here, love,'" Healy told the ABC.
But since Healy's mom has memory loss, Healy has to come out to her every time she sees her. Her reaction has never changed:
I go and see Mum every few weeks and she's forgotten each time, and every time I tell her again, she gives me just the same beautiful reaction that she did exactly the same, almost word for word every time. I'm kind of the luckiest one of all because I get to come out to Mum 100 times a year, and every time, she's beautiful.
Healy told BuzzFeed News that after decades of struggling to come to terms with who she is, her daughter's book means everything to her.
"It also captured the love that now spans four generations - my mum, my family, my children, and now my grandchildren," she said. "I just sat there at my computer and cried the happiest tears. So much about being trans relates to acceptance and feeling loved as yourself. The book captured all that and more."
She said that her family is sharing their story because she wants people to know that transitioning as transgender is not just about "movie stars" like Caitlyn Jenner.
"It's about ordinary everyday people doing their best to be authentic and genuine," she said. "It's about ordinary people, ordinary families, ordinary communities trying to come to terms with something that challenges so many societal taboos."