Raising Ryland

Raising Ryland


This powerful, moving story—which has already touched more than seven million through a viral video created by the Whittington family—is a mother’s first-hand account of her emotional choice to embrace her transgender child.

When Hillary and Jeff Whittington posted a YouTube video chronicling their five-year-old son Ryland’s transition from girl to boy, they didn’t expect it to be greeted with such fervor. Beautiful and moving, the video documenting Hillary’s and Jeff’s love for their child instantly went viral and has been seen by more than seven million viewers since its posting in May 2014.

Now for the first time, they tell their story in full, offering an emotional and moving account of their journey alongside their exceptional child. After they discovered their daughter Ryland was deaf at age one and needed cochlear implants, the Whittingtons spent nearly four years successfully teaching Ryland to speak. But once Ryland gained the power of speech, it was time for them to listen as Ryland insisted, “I am a boy!” And listen they did. After learning that forty-one percent of people who identify as transgender attempt to take their own lives, Hillary and her husband Jeff made it their mission to support their child—no matter what.

From the earliest stages of deciphering Ryland through clothing choices to examining the difficult conversations that have marked every stage of Ryland’s transition, Hillary Whittington shares her experiences as a mother through it all, demonstrating both the resistance and support that their family has encountered as they try to erase the stigma surrounding the word “transgender.” In telling her family’s story, she hopes she can assist the world in accepting that even children as young as five, can have profound and impactful things to say and share. What emerges is a powerful story of unconditional love, accepting others for who they are, and doing what’s right, regardless of whether those around you understand it.    

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  • 001 Raising Ryland
    Duration: 18s
  • 002 Author's Note
    Duration: 01min
  • 003 Prologue
    Duration: 05min
  • 004 Chapter 01
    Duration: 30min
  • 005 Chapter 02
    Duration: 01h05s
  • 006 Chapter 03
    Duration: 13min
  • 007 Chapter 04
    Duration: 27min
  • 008 Chapter 05
    Duration: 29min
  • 009 Chapter 06
    Duration: 16min
  • 010 Chapter 07
    Duration: 27min
  • 011 Chapter 08
    Duration: 37min
  • 012 Chapter 09
    Duration: 21min
  • 013 Chapter 10
    Duration: 25min
  • 014 Chapter 11
    Duration: 14min
  • 015 Chapter 12
    Duration: 14min
  • 016 Chapter 13
    Duration: 10min
  • 017 Chapter 14
    Duration: 05min
  • 018 Chapter 15
    Duration: 11min
  • 019 Chapter 16
    Duration: 17min
  • 020 Chapter 17
    Duration: 18min
  • 021 Chapter 18
    Duration: 11min
  • 022 Chapter 19
    Duration: 18min
  • 023 Acknowledgements
    Duration: 05min
  • 024 Credits
    Duration: 40s
  • sample
    Duration: 01min