It’s certainly not a question a transgender person wants to hear, so when it was raised to Minnesota native Liv Hnilicka, she wasn’t sure how the conversation would go.
On Sunday, the trans waitress — who identifies as female — was approached by a customer who had brought his daughter in to the restaurant to grab a bite to eat.
She wrote in a Facebook post — that has since gone viral:
“He came up to me and said, ‘My daughter just asked if you were a boy or a girl. I didn’t want to speak for you so would you like to talk to her?'”
Liv explained she was really nervous when meeting the child because she wasn’t sure how the little girl would respond. But after complimenting her hair ribbon, she mustered up the courage to say:
“I heard you asked if I was a boy or girl. I think the important thing to remember is that everyone can be anything they want to be in this world. And it’s also important to try to be the best selves we can be for our family and friends. And even to strangers. So to answer your question, I was told that I was a boy when I was little and now I live my adult life as a girl. It sounds complicated but it’s actually pretty simple. Do you have any questions for me?”
The daughter’s response?
“She looked at me smiling and simply said, ‘Nope!'”
That’s so amazing! And Liv certainly thought so, too! She made sure to commend the young girl’s parents for doing a “stellar” job at raising her, saying:
“I walked away from the table feeling really good about parents intentionally engaging their children about possibly difficult topics. And showing that giving people the power to voice their truths in this complicated world is beautiful and healing. Way to go, mom and dads out there making space for transfolks/gnc people like me. ├ó┬¥┬ñ”
On Monday, she opened up about why she was so pleasantly surprised by the conversation, saying:
“Just this morning I was waiting for the bus and this man walked by me and kept smiling at me and then finally said, ‘Cut that f*ggoty sh*t out.’ And I’m like, ‘I’m just in the world; I’m just waiting for the bus. It doesn’t have to be this big conflict.’ So yeah, this interaction was so out of the ordinary that I felt like I needed to run to the mountain top and shout it to the world. Clearly it’s resonated with people.”
She also added that, since she’s had many bad experiences with children, it’s important to try to teach those young minds to be open, since they aren’t yet set in their ways like some adults are:
“I also thought about myself as a child and the ways that I was or was not exposed to people I could identify with. Children are really just learning everything, so it’s important to use those moments.”
Liv also revealed why she decided to make her post public on the social media site, saying:
“I shared it with people because hopefully sharing positive experiences like this only brings about more conversations about what we want society to look like and how we should treat people.”
We hope so too! And we think that the little girl’s response is a beautiful example of the way the world should work!
[Image via Liv Hnilicka/Facebook.]