"Youth, Interrupted" is a series on trans teens in the United States whose lives have been dramatically disrupted by anti-trans "bathroom bills" and other political battles. Watch and read more from the series here.
Ten years ago, four-year-old Trinity was depressed and despondent. Her mother would call her name—which wasn't Trinity then—and she wouldn't turn; she'd keep staring blankly into nothing. DeShanna didn't realize that Trinity is a girl. At the time, the word "transgender" was still culturally obscure. But Trinity kept telling her mother and her teachers that she wasn't a boy—and when DeShanna finally allowed her to live as a girl, she transformed from a clinically depressed child into a normal, happy little girl.
However, the elementary school that Trinity was about to attend reacted with hostility to DeShanna's transgender daughter. They refused to treat Trinity like a girl, and so DeShanna was forced to pull her children from public education, quit her job, and homeschool them. Today she is thirteen years old and plans to return to public school in the fall.
Over the last decade, DeShanna and her husband have sacrificed everything to protect their children. After being forced to quit her job, their family slowly fell into poverty—and today, they're still trying to climb out of it. Trinity's story illustrates the way that anti-transgender bathroom laws segregate trans people from the general population, dramatically disrupting the lives of trans children and often their entire families.