By Bob Butts, Living Beatitudes Community, Dayton, OH
The Living Beatitudes Community hosted Jason and Zay Crawford, father and transgender daughter on Sunday, June 5, 2016. Their story put a face on an issue that needs the human dimension.
It was a seminal moment for Jason Crawford as he asked his son Isaiah “Wouldn’t you be more comfortable with a ball cap,” as he noted Zay’s long hair. Zay answered “No, Dad, not for me.” It was then he realized that he needed to understand Zay’s desire to be a girl. “We were clueless parents. We didn’t understand. And gradually we realized that Zay knew who she was. And it was their job to help her to be happy. We learned that transgender people are far more likely to be attacked or hurt. And we had to protect our child and understand her.”
Zay Crawford felt trapped in a boy's body at a young age. She never came to Jason and Chasilee, her parents, to come out as transgender. She has always known she was a girl in a boy’s body. Her desire to wear dresses, grow her hair long and dress as a girl were an emerging identity that needed to unfold and bloom. What set her free was a inner strength that surpasses her 11 years. “Zay is the strongest person I know,” says Jason Crawford.