"I just want Xio to be her most authentic self," says Holly Hanson of her daughter, age 15.
That hasn't been easy. Despite a highly supportive family, Xio for years fought sharing publicly her love of dance, feminine clothes, wigs, and traditionally feminine toys and entertainment. All her friends were girls.
Xio says ever since she was a toddler, "I’ve always liked everything girly." For years, she wore boy clothes to school to avoid bullying, but changed into wigs and girl clothes as soon as she came home. Her bedroom was very feminine, and she didn't like outsiders to see it.
At 10, Xio began experiencing depression connected to her gender identity. At 13, under supervision of doctors and counselors, she went on puberty blockers. "You could just see the weight being lifted from her," says her mom.
It's appalling to Holly that some politicians are ignoring the recommendations of major medical associations and trying to thwart children's access to gender-affirming care. "Who are you, someone who doesn’t even know us, to tell my family what is best for us, for our child?"