Transgender Waitress Beautifully Explains Gender Identity to Young Girl

September 22nd 2015

Laura Donovan

Liv Hnilicka, a trans waitress from Minneapolis, is making headlines for her viral Facebook post about explaining gender identities to a child at her restaurant.

According to Hnilicka, a male patron approached her to say his daughter wanted to know whether she was a man or a woman. He asked whether Hnilicka would be willing to discuss her gender herself, as he did not want to speak on her behalf. Hnilicka reluctantly agreed and walked up to the table to talk to the kid.

"I heard you asked if I was a boy or girl," Hnilicka said. "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."


Stellar parenting moment of the day:This afternoon I was at my waitressing job on a beautiful early fall afternoon....

Posted by Liv Hnilicka on Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hnilicka wrote on Facebook that the experience was positive and made her happy.

"I walked away from the table feeling really good about parents intentionally engaging their children about possibly difficult topics," she wrote. "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 [gender nonconforming] people like me."

After the post received thousands of likes on Facebook, Hnilicka's story exploded online. She told ABC News that responses have been "really positive" but that people should be careful when asking trans individuals to describe their identities.

RELATED: 5 Questions You Should Never Ask a Trans Person

"I do want to say in the wake of this viral post that I don't think it's a good idea to ask every person you interact with in your life to explain themselves but if you're wondering how someone identifies themselves to say, 'I use she/her pronouns (or whatever pronouns you prefer), what pronouns do you use?'" Hnilicka said. "It's a good benchmark of honoring someones identity."

According to one of her recent Facebook posts, Hnilicka also released this statement to ABC News but that it disappeared from the original article, "I also want to say that I think while the language I used was appropriate for conversations with children, intersecting sets of identities are beautifully complicated and the way society treats marginalized people (women, lgbt/gnc/intersex people, people of color, people living with disabilities) is complex."

A trans woman explains what questions you shouldn't ask.

A trans woman explains what questions you shouldn't ask. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1K6x9lQ

Posted by ATTN: on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Here are some helpful articles on trans issues:

Words can hurt. Learn the right ones.

Avoid “You’re so brave” and other backhanded compliments. Helpful Tips for Allies of Transgender People.

10 Ways You Can Take Action and be an Ally to Trans Friends.

Are you a journalist? Learn how to correctly write about transgender.

How to Respond to the Caitlyn Jenner memes.

How to spot offensive Trans stereotypes in the media.

How to be an ally as a public figure.

Think you might be Trans?

Know your legal rights.

See ATTN:'s video on the transgender community's battle over bathrooms:

Why We're Still Fighting Over Bathrooms

Haven't we seen "separate but equal" before?

Posted by ATTN: on Thursday, January 29, 2015