This video about a 9-year-old trans boy will break your heart

New Zealand has fallen in love with 9-year-old Milla Brown.


Aja Romano


Published Feb 16, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 12:53 pm CDT

When Renée Fabish realized her 9-year-old son Milla Brown was being bullied and harassed at school, she decided to help him broadcast his plea for acceptance.

Fabish created a moving video explanation of her family’s journey to accepting their son was transgender. Beginning at 5:50 in the video, Milla appears onscreen to tell his friends, “I have decided to take the next step. From today, I want to live and be known as a boy.”

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Milla’s family has known for a while he might be transgender. From the age of 2, he joked that he was a “girl-boy” because he rejected girls’ clothes and toys in favor of boys’ clothes, Bob the Builder, and Spider-Man. As he got older, he constantly begged to have his hair cropped short. “Everyone told us it was just a phase,” Fabish wrote.

They’d say, “She’s just a tomboy. She’ll grow out of it.” The problem is phases end. Most tomboys don’t actually want to be boys.

Set to a slide show of baby pictures, Fabish writes of watching her child grow more and more depressed as he approached puberty. After taking him to see an endocrinologist and a psychiatrist, the family realized Milla was transgender.

Fabish made the video for her family and friends, to help them all understand Milla’s situation and lend him support. 

But her video, which includes Milla describing how he’s bullied “all the time” at school, touched more hearts than she was expecting. In three weeks, it’s been viewed over 5.5 million times by supportive Kiwis.

It’s important to note that if your son or daughter likes toys and clothes marketed towards the opposite gender, as Milla did early on, it doesn’t automatically equate to gender confusion or dysphoria. 

But Fabish also makes a crucial point for parents wanting to support their trans and genderqueer children: “It is not something [he] was talked into and it is not something [he] can be talked out of. We support him wholeheartedly. The only thing that has changed for us is pronouns.”

H/T New Zealand Herald | Screengrab via Facebook | Remix by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Feb 16, 2015, 4:10 pm CST