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A nonbinary person on Twitter shared the nickname their mom came up with to replace old gendered words—and it’s absolutely adorable.
Twenty-year-old Karuna Vellino, who is nonbinary and lesbian, shared a part of this process with their family on Twitter, where it melted the LGBTQ community’s heart.
“My mom has always called me ‘baby girl’ and we’ve been experimenting with gender neutral ways do adapt that since I came out as nonbinary,” Vellino wrote on Twitter along with a screenshot of a text from their mother. The text is normal “mom stuff”—just checking in with a “thinking of you” status update. But what makes the text really special is the cute name she came up with for her kid: “baby goat.”
My mom has always called me “baby girl” and we’ve been experimenting with gender neutral ways to adapt that since I came out as nonbinary and pic.twitter.com/cOIAgvYs5J— Karuna (@blondbutch) June 20, 2019
Even the most supportive of loved ones may go through a period of adjustment when someone they’ve known for years comes out as transgender or nonbinary. While calling someone by their new name and pronouns is a no-brainer, there’s some automatic language that isn’t as easy to replace. But true family and friends are happy to make the effort for the trans people in their lives, even if it takes a little extra thought.
Folks on Twitter loved Vellino’s nickname and that it represented the ingenuity of parents who want to make sure their kids feel loved and supported.
Your mom wins all the pride month awards.— Ash Menon (@ashvinmenon) June 21, 2019
i want my mom to call me a goat wow thats so pure— jude (@genderfxcker) June 20, 2019
I LOVE THIS BECAUSE A BABY GOAT IS A KID— Give Your Balls a Tug Tit Fucker (@pith_and_bile) June 21, 2019
Speaking to the Daily Dot via Twitter messages, Vellino shared some backstory.
“It’s been hard for my parents finding and remembering to use gender-neutral language for me,” they said. “But they try as hard as they can.”
One day, their mom accidentally called them “baby girl,” and they reminded her that was an uncomfortable phrase for them. So the two started joking about gender-neutral alternatives.
“Then my mom suggested (half as a joke) ‘how about baby goat’ and I immediately loved it,” Vellino wrote. “As we all know, a kid is a baby goat, and the gender-neutral word I prefer instead of daughter is kid.” The kicker? Goats are their mom’s favorite animal. The sweet nickname has stuck ever since.
This story has been updated.
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Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.