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Article By Anne Bruinn · For CBC News Opinion · Posted: Aug 03, 2020

We knew from the very beginning that our child didn't fit the mould. Ryder preferred dresses and pink sparkly clothing from the moment he could crawl to the cupboard and pull out his own clothes. They belonged to his sister but he wanted to wear them and so he did. His sister wasn't impressed at first but as long as they weren't her favourite outfits, she soon adjusted.

At three, he wanted to grow his hair out. He went to preschool with dresses and pigtails. When the other kids were confused, Ryder just shrugged. He didn't feel the need to explain himself and we followed his lead.

When Ryder was four, he sat on the couch crying heavy, sobbing tears. "I want to be a girl! I want to be a girl!" he cried as he rocked back and forth covering his face with his hands. I rushed over, took him in my lap and cradled him, saying, "You can be a girl. Of course you can. Be a girl!"

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