The Trump administration announced Wednesday that it would rescind federal protections for transgender students, a move that deeply distressed Isabel Rose, whose 8-year-old daughter, Sadie, is transgender.
In response, Rose penned an impassioned open letter to Ivanka Trump asking her to take action in protecting transgender children.
It's been widely shared online since it was published Friday.
Rose shares a surprising number of similarities to Trump, she points out in the letter. Both come from notable New York real estate families, attended prestigious schools, married Jewish men, and now have young children.
In the letter, Rose recalls how she "wept in relief" when she realized her child "wasn’t doomed to a lifetime of misery, but was simply transgender:"
Samuel liked to play dress up from a very young age. When he was two, his camp counselor sent us photos of him dressed up in princess costumes and a pink bonnet.
At three, Samuel’s preschool teacher informed us that he chose a tutu from the dress up bin instead of the doctor’s lab coat or fireman jacket that the other boys favored.
By four, Samuel broke out in hives when we tried to cut his hair, and at five he told us, through tears, that he wanted to burn his face off because it wasn’t a girl face.
He also tore at his genitalia with such hatred, I had to pin his arms down at his sides. “I’m not supposed to have a penis!” he sobbed night after night. “I’m supposed to have what you have, mommy.”
Rose appealed to Trump as a mother, asking how she would respond if she had a transgender child:
What about your children, Ivanka? What do they want to be when they grow up? What do they do after school? What is their favorite flavor ice cream? Who are they beneath the trappings of their anatomy? Are they, like my child, a pure vessel of wonder and potential and love?
I bet they are. And I bet that if you were me, you would be as proud as I am of my brave Little Miss!
And I also bet if you were me, you would be greatly dismayed if you found out that the government chose to rescind protections for transgender students that allow them to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity instead of their anatomy.
Like me, you would look at your ultra-feminine 8-year-old, standing on the street corner waiting for the school bus, her already-elegant head held high, pink bow quivering in the wind, and you would say to yourself, “What on earth will my little princess do if someone forces her to go to the bathroom with the boys? She’ll be mortified! She’ll be bullied! She’ll be scared.”
She then says she knows what she would do if she were in Trump's shoes:
I would take my father aside and explain that failing to protect innocent children’s rights to use the bathroom of their choice is wrong and unfair and un-American. I would point out that removing protections for transgender kids is a distraction from the myriad of other super-pressing issues facing our country.
I would also point out that picking a fight with school kids is an act of bullying and gently mention that bullying is uncool, especially when unprovoked, which is this case right now.