Ken Ballard is a man of few words but when a time came for the support of his transgender son he could not stay silent.
No doubt it was hard to accept his son transition, Texas man fought for his son’s right to use the bathroom of his choice.
45 years old Ballard spoke about his son Ashur in a video while state lawmakers debated LGBT bathroom access.
Ballard shared his heartbreaking story on social media after getting the suicide letter of his son.
“I was asked to talk today because I have a son, ” Ballard said in his video. “The thing is I only knew I had a son for the past two years. Twelve years prior to that, I kept calling him my daughter. That’s what they told me at the hospital.”
He said after that his son played a role of the daughter for 12 years, but he could not anymore.
“Was I going to be his bully? Was I going to try to put him back in a box that fit the rules of my world at the time?” he asked in the video. “Or only end up losing that child all together?”
An advocacy group Equality Texas reposted this video last week and they received positive messages from around the world.
“As a mom of a 23-year-old MTF (male-to-female), I feel your strength and love! Our children deserve NO LESS! We fight together!!!” one commenter wrote.
Another said, “I think these parents of trans kids who stand by their children are models to EVERY parent out there. Bravery and selflessness to a whole new level.”
Giving MY Son a Voice
Ashur started struggle openly with his identity at age 11. He was admitted to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
Around that time, his dad found the letter that he wrote, and son came out as transgender.
Ballard told CNN “He began living as Ashur at this point, and we have not turned back,” “He has become stronger, healthier and gets better every day, I would say.”
Ballard and his wife Melissa supported their son and fought for the LGBT rights during the Texas legislative session this year.
“I personally think that a trans-boy is a boy and a trans-girl is a girl. A trans-woman is a woman. A trans-man is a man. So, nobody should be policed about where they want to go to the bathroom,” his wife said, according to CNN affiliate KXAN.
Although he’s “not a crowd person,” then father chose to testify for his son at the state Capital in March and people like him. He was among hundreds of witnesses who spoke about their experiences.
“Prior to Ashur, I had not had a need to be heard as I was the person that could go about my day and nothing in Austin impacted much about my life,” he said. “Then I found myself with a transgender son.”
Ballard got a positive response from the LGBT community who didn’t get support from their parents, but Ballard just doing his job as a father.
The ‘bathroom bill’
Now the question is that transgender will use the bathroom that matches their “biological sex”. Although it failed to pass in regular legislative session, but it’s on the agenda of a special session that will start in July.
The legislation was similar to the controversial “bathroom bill” in North Carolina that led businesses to leave the state and major sporting events and concerts to be canceled.
Some opponents say the bills target vulnerable children.
Ballard said what matters most to him is his child’s happiness.
“This is what we all want for our kids, right? Does not matter if they are trans, gay, straight, smart, athletic, or anything else unless they can be happy,” he said.