You Matter

June 20, 2017

Theresa Stier, 23, was born and raised in Union County, New Jersey. She graduated from Montclair State University in 2015 with a BA in English and is currently a freelance writer. Theresa enjoys crime shows and action movies. She also always has her eye out for a new pair of shoes.

Affirmation: The assertion that something exists or is true.

When you’re a child, just about anything your parents told you could fall under this definition. However, what if these affirmations were more than just doing well on that spelling test. What if your parents were giving you affirmations to make sure you knew you were loved and that you knew you weren’t any different from another child due to the fact that you are transgender? That is exactly what The Scene did.

The Scene is part of Conde Nast Entertainment and their site’s statement is “For Women Who Get It.” I was lucky enough to talk with The Scene’s very own Annie Venezia and Libby Duke about the process of making the video “Parents and Transgender Children Read Powerful Affirmations.”

Annie was inspired to create this video after watching the viral video of Ron Alston telling his daughter, Aliya, affirmations and having her repeat them while looking in the mirror (ie: I am strong, I am amazing, I am respectful). With that, Annie and her team created their own version of that video. They got a group of dads and their daughters. They asked the dads to watch Ron’s video and then write down their own affirmations about their daughters. According to Annie, the dad’s were nervous, but they wanted to be in this video and tell their daughters what they had written down.

“These dads said these affirmations like they meant it.”

That video has about 104,700 views on Youtube. They put this out when everything in the news was about the election and America was dealing with unnecessary hate in the world, as a way to uplift and take the attention off of that hate.

Since that video was successful and everyone at The Scene was proud of the video, Annie wanted to create a video where parents read affirmations to their transgender children.

“I wanted to give a voice to this community and to show that these children are just like any other child. I educated myself and it was just as simple as the previous video. These parents were so thankful to publicly affirm their children.”

The video was edited and then published on their social media accounts. With any post, there is always the chance of backlash. It only takes one person to comment with something hateful to stir the pot. However, most of the comments received were all positive.

“There were comments that said “How do you know your child is transgender?” and the community posted links to those. We were protective of them.”

In this world, no matter who we are, we always need a little bit of confidence boost now and again. We all need to remind ourselves that we matter, no matter what shape, size, orientation, or race we are. These videos are showing exactly that, that all these children matter and we should follow suit by making sure the people in our lives know that they matter.