Justice

Why This Mom Redrew a Tattoo of Her Child

Canadian mother Lindsay Peace recently altered an old tattoo of her 15-year-old son Ace. Ace is transgender and no longer identifies as female.

Peace, who has tattoos of all three of her children, initially got a tattoo of Ace as a young girl with pigtails and a pink dress. Ace is now a teenager who identifies as male, so Peace changed the tattoo to depict a little boy in a blue shirt and shorts:

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Peace told the Calgary Metro that she made the change after a slew of uncomfortable social encounters in which people asked about her tattoos.

"People would say, 'Oh, who is on your arm?'" she said. “We were on holidays, and people would say, 'Is that your kids?' And here I am with three boys, and very clearly a little girl was on my arm.”

Though the family sometimes joked that the little girl in the tattoo was a neighbor, Ace ultimately asked his mother to remove it. Ace's father Steve Peace, the tattoo artist behind the original, suggested altering it to depict a little boy instead.

This comes nearly a year after Ace first came out as transgender to his family. According to the Calgary Metro, he has since changed his birth certificate and passport.

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“We weren’t surprised,” Steve Peace said. “As parents, you say, ‘Whatever makes you happy,’ and we’ve seen him become happier and happier as time goes on, which makes us happy.”

But Steve Peace noted that they're lucky to reside in a place like Canada because not all areas are accepting of transgender people.

“It’s a different world these days,” Steve Peace continued. “We’re just lucky to live where we do. I think it’d be tough if we lived in a different country, or even the States.”

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Steve Peace is correct that life can be exceedingly difficult for transgender individuals, especially when they are young. As ATTN: writer Aron Macarow wrote in a piece about Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), more trans women in the U.S. have been killed in anti-trans attacks than in any year on record. This is especially alarming given the fact that transgender people make up less than one percent of the population.

A recent joint study from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Williams Institute found that 41 percent of transgender people will attempt suicide at some point in their lives, compared to just 5 percent of the general population. More than half of trans youth have had at least one suicide attempt before their 20th birthday, and there are up to 400,000 homeless LGBT youths in the U.S., according to the Center for American Progress.

LGBT suicide attempt rates

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