Parents Kelsey and Chris Waits supported their child’s exploration of gender identity beginning at age four. By all accounts, Kit started school in the fall an outgoing, well-adjusted child.
Kelsey was serving as chair of the local school board in Hastings, Minnesota. School board meetings were heated because of the debate around masks, and an angry parent attacked Waits by outing Kelsey’s child as transgender to others in a Facebook group.
Another parent called for Waits to be “locked up” for child abuse for having supported her child’s transition.
Kit identifies as non-binary and transgender and goes by “they” and “she” pronouns.
Waits said her child prefers “they” pronouns, but goes by “she” pronouns in public since many people in the town have only known Kit as a feminine child.
They don’t want to bring too much attention to themselves that way, Waits said.
At one low point, “Kit curled up in my lap and just started crying,” Waits said a few weeks ago during a Zoom interview with ABC News. Kit asked their therapist, “‘Why are people so evil? They’re just doing this to people who aren’t doing anything and just want to be left alone,'” Waits said.
Chris Waits, Kit’s father added, “They don’t want to be an ‘other,’ they just want to be Kit.”
Kelsey Waits, who did not win re-election to the school board in November, says Kit’s school’s faculty and staff have been supportive of Kit’s journey.
Robert McDowell, the superintendent of Hastings Public Schools, told ABC News that the district will continue to address bullying in schools and support gender-diverse and queer students like Kit.
“Our teachers and counseling staff really work hard to put kids first and create situations where students not only feel safe but feel safe coming to the adults when they have concerns,” McDowell said.
Despite this, the Waits family said they’ll be moving to a new neighborhood and school in the district, and they are considering legal action against the parents who they say outed Kit.