This Mom Wrote A Moving Letter To Ivanka Trump About Her Transgender Daughter

"At five he told us, through tears, that he wanted to burn his face off because it wasn’t a girl face."

President Trump's move to rollback on his predecessor's directive protecting transgender students' rights in public schools set off a torrent of criticism from advocates, progressives, teachers, and parents. 

After the news broke, Isabel Rose's transgender daughter asked her that night: "Mommy, what if Trump comes to my school and makes me use the boy's room? Do I get the principal?" BuzzFeed News reported. The question weighed heavily on Rose, and squared with the odds of reasoning with those behind Trump's decision, she decided to make her case to Ivanka Trump, whom many consider to be the powerful balancing force within the president's inner circle. 

Rose, whose daughter Sadie is eight years old, wrote an open letter to Ivanka on Medium urging her to protect trans rights.


Rose appealed to the first daughter's maternal instinct — Ivanka has three children — with stories of her daughter's struggle with her biological gender from a young age:

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 wrote that she and her husband sought professional help for their child. "I know you would have wept in relief, like I did, when you realized your child wasn't doomed to a lifetime of misery but was simply transgender," she continued. Samuel became Sadie when she turned six, and Rose wrote that she has since blossomed into a young, ambitious girl who wants to be a scientist and a doctor, who enjoys rock climbing and going to museums, who loves all the colors of the rainbow and mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Extending Ivanka an invitation to meet her family, Rose implored her: "put yourself in my Jimmy Choos." She continued:

Because I know exactly what I would do if were you: 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. And I would also mention that picking a fight with school kids is an act of bullying and gently mention that bullying is uncool, especially when unprovoked, which is the case here.

Cover image via a katz / Shutterstock 

A Plus has reached out to Isabel Rose for comment.


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