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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Video of Transgender Child Goes Viral, Dayton Reacts

SAN DIEGO/DAYTON-- With 3.6 million views in just three days, the newest YouTube star is a transgender child.

Ryland Whittington was born biologically female, but identifies as a boy. His parents decided to encourage his gender transition at just 5 years of age.

"This is my sister, and I'm her brother Ryland," said a young Ryland in the YouTube video posted by his parents.

From a young age, Ryland resisted dresses, and would rather dress up as spider man, the Whittingtons showed in their video. They thought that Ryland may be going through a tomboy phase, but when the phase didn't end, they consulted professionals and experts. They all came to the same conclusion; Ryland is transgender.

"I wish I was able to come out when I was a kid," said Gage Gatlyn from his Dayton living room, "because I wouldn't have had the majority of the problems that I had growing up. The psychological issues, you know."

The 36-year-old can relate to Ryland's childhood, he is transgender. He was born female but grew up resisting his female anatomy.

"We never talked about my gender issues when I was a kid. It wasn't til I was 18-19 that I started expressing, then I was 22-23 that's when I started binding my breast and trying to pass off as a male," Gatlyn said.

"When the family dies, I will cut my hair so I can be a boy," the Whittingtons quoted Ryland in their video, "Why did God make me like this?"

"Over 40 percent of transgender people have those suicidal idealizations," said Gatlyn, "Because they don't feel like they belong anywhere."

That was a statistic Ryland's parents didn't want to risk.
the decided to let him cut his hair, they changed pronouns to "him/he," and started referring to him as their son, not their daughter.

"I wish more parents were as supportive as they are," said Gatlyn, who's wife is very supportive, just like Ryland's parents.

Now Ryland is happy in his own skin.
He spoke at the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast last week.

"It's so amazing they were able to see it, instead of trying to correct it and make it worse. If that's who you are, be who you are," Gatlyn said.

To watch "Ryland's Story" in its entirety, click HERE.
For support or questions about the LGBT community in Dayton, click HERE.

 
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