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Transgender Instagram Activist Landon Richie Interviews His Father Aaron Richie
Posted on June 20, 2017 at 7:00 am

Follow Landon Richie on Instagram to learn more about his advocacy.

What does being a dad mean to you?

Being a dad means I am responsible for the wellbeing of my children and I must strive to fulfill this obligation to the best of my ability above all else.

When you first learned that I was transgender, what initial fears, thoughts, concerns, etc. ran through your mind?

I was immediately afraid about your physical safety. This fear was followed by how difficult life would be for you because I thought it would be hard for you to find love, employment, and friends. Finally, I was concerned about how or if you would ever truly embrace yourself. These fears and concerns were overwhelming in the first couples days after you came out to us so much so that I hardly thought about anything else.

Was my transition difficult for you as a father? What aspects of my transition did you find yourself struggling with, if any, and how so?

During the first week of your coming out I read as much as I could find about being transgender. This helped some with the initial fears that I had, but it also made me aware of some of the transition possibilities that I hadn’t initially contemplated. I remember thinking I am not ready for my child to have surgeries or hormone therapy and comforting myself by saying at least I have about seven years to get ready.

But within a year you started on these. I was surprised with how excited I was about each step of your transition. I think seeing how each step improved you overall wellbeing contributed to the excited anticipation of how the next step would make you a happier person.

What do you want the Texas Legislature, or world in general, to know about being the father of a trans kid?

My kid deserves to have the same safety, protection, dignity, and opportunity that all kids deserve and I will not stop working toward this in every way that I know how until I am satisfied that this is the case. I also know many fathers and mothers who feel this way and we are in this to the end.

Has the way you view fatherhood changed since my coming out?

I don’t think so but I do think that I try to be more aware of what all of you need from me.

What message or advice do you have for fathers of LGBTQ+ youth?

If you viewed your job as a father to provide for the wellbeing of your child to the best of your ability your job has not changed. You simply need to learn what is required of you to fulfill your obligation to the child you have.

How has being a dad to three incredibly different kids affected your views (impacted your life)? If so, how?

I thought I would be able to teach my kids so much about the many aspects of “life”. I am certain my kids have taught me more about life, love, people, success, meaning, purpose than I will ever teach them about any one aspect of life.
Each of my kids have challenged me to grow as a person or change my views. I wouldn’t have made these changes without them. Their uniqueness has also given me the opportunity to be apart of communities that I otherwise would not have spent time with.

What model do you hope to provide for your kids? Is that similar to the model your dad provided?

I hope that I model compassion and empathy toward people. I hope that they see how excited I am about living, learning, and experiencing and that this inspires to them to a similar approach in life.

I believe this is the way my dad approaches life.