HOWELL-At the age of one, EJ Torrisi loved playing with toy trucks.
At the age of two, her mother, Emily Trisi, said EJ “began to choose boys’ clothes” at the store. “I was like,’OK, whatever you want.'”
By four o’clock, EJ had told his sisters Cygames and Ceceria, “I am your brother.”
None of this would have raised his eyebrows, except that EJ was born as a girl (full name: Elia Josephine).
“When EJ went to school, he started telling all his friends that he was a boy,” said Emily Trisi. “At first I wonder if it’s a phase, and I know this is exactly what he was intended to be.”
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Emily Trisi and her husband Al Trisi, who live in Howell, were unaware of other parents who encountered a similar situation. They didn’t know any transgender people at all. So they just followed their parents’ instincts and gave EJ, now five years old, the freedom to follow his heart.
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“People ask a million questions,” Emily said. “I didn’t know until I saw it with my own eyes, so I want people to understand the youth of people who started to feel this way,” he said.
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Worried about school
Emily’s greatest fear was how EJ was received at his school, Land Opine Elementary School in Howell. He is in kindergarten now.
“The school was absolutely great,” she said. “I was worried because I was in kindergarten this year. I wanted to make sure that EJ had a teacher who was used to it, could handle it, and understood it. Have their own opinion about it, and I want to make sure they’re okay with it. “
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During the summer, she connected with the principal, Delaney Suarez, and sailed smoothly from there.
“EJ is doing a very good transition to kindergarten,” Suarez said. “He is incredibly well tuned and confident. He makes friends easily and is sociable. His classmates consider EJ to be a classmate and a friend. Is the beauty of children. “
According to Suarez, EJ was the first known transgender student at school.
“We encourage parents / guardians of the following kindergarten students to complete the” Everything About My Child “survey. This allows us to gather information about new students and provide them with the best personal environment, “Suarez explained. “Mrs. Torrisi included the fact that EJ introduced herself as a boy. I contacted her to find out why EJ feels safe and comfortable. We Come up with ideas and work with great staff to ensure everything is done. “
One of the questions that had to be addressed was the use of the bathroom by the EJ.
“They asked what I was most comfortable with,” Emily said. “EJ goes straight to the nurse’s toilet, so no one gets confused.”
What advice does Suarez give to peer admins about this?
“My advice is not really advice, as it is our duty as an educator to provide a safe and comfortable environment for children to learn,” she said. “So if a family reaches out to school, I want to say that, like all children, they stay open and work together.”
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“Paste EJ with a dress and bow”
Obviously, EJ’s journey isn’t over yet. I asked Emily if there was a role model or example for her and EJ to look for guidance as he continued to grow. She doesn’t know anything. That’s a big reason she’s saying.
“Sometimes I feel like children who feel this way, their parents don’t accept it,” she said. “Some people said,’If you stick EJ with a dress and a bow, EJ will overcome that feeling.’ I said, “No. For what?’Do you feel like how many other parents are doing that? How many other parents are dressing and bowing to get it in their heads? Are you throwing?
“There are so many people who come out later in life just because they are adults, and that’s when they’re most comfortable. Now I see for myself how young they are when they’re in the blood. I came. “
Some large families were quicker to understand than others.
“It took a while (in the old generation) and I asked a few more questions, but now everyone understands it,” Emily said. “They all see it with their own eyes.”
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It’s important to note: Emily is not an activist, hasn’t thought much about the meaning of transgender, and has no political tendency. She is a mom who wants to share unexpected parental stories for others walking in the same shoes.
“It’s completely new to me and I’m learning myself,” she said. “I hope more people see this and think it’s okay for your child to want to dress up what they want to do, or if they feel a particular way, It’s okay to express it. I hope this will be a more normal process in the next few years, so parents won’t be stressed about it. “
On Halloween, EJ was The Incredible Hulk. Recently he asked me to shave his head, so they did it.
“I want to tell people: when you have a girl you say she’s cute. When you have a boy you say he’s handsome,” Emily Trici Said. “I always say, they’re perfect. It’s true no matter who they are.”
Jerry Carino is a community columnist at Asbury Park Press, focusing on interesting people on the Jersey Shore, exciting stories and imminent issues. Contact him at [email protected]
This article was originally published in Asbury Park Press. Howell Mama, a transgender kindergarten child, shares a story