LGBTQ Resource Center hosts "A Parent’s Love"

Shane Stinson never expected the support he received when coming at MU.

“It’s your soul I care about, and I will always love your beautiful soul,” Debbie Stinson said on Sept. 13, 2013.

These were the first words out of Debbie Stinson’s mouth when junior Shane Stinson, at the time Sarah or just plain “Stinson,” first told his mother that he was a trans male.

Shane Stinson was born biologically female. Debbie Stinson loved to dress him in dresses and little girl’s patent leather shoes until age two when he learned the word “no.”

On Nov. 14, Shane Stinson and his mother spoke to students and faculty in the Women’s Center lounge. “A Parent’s Love” was hosted by the LGBTQ Resource Center for MU Trans Awareness Week.

Shane Stinson realized he was different from a young age. He can recall watching his father, Scott Stinson, shaving his face every morning and wanting so badly to be able to grow up and shave too.

Shane Stinson’s parents were always supportive of his choices. He picked out his own clothing: all boys’. He chose his toys: no Barbie dolls. It was with reluctance, though, that his mother finally agreed to let Shane Stinson cut all his hair off in fourth grade, fearing what other people would think.

Shane Stinson remembers the day he cut his hair short for the first time as “the happiest moment of his life.”

Middle school and high school were rough for Shane Stinson because gender becomes more distinct. Shane, at the time Sarah, attempted to fit in by growing his hair out and wearing more feminine clothing. His attempt to come out as a lesbian freshman year backfired when a senior friend brought him to an anti-homosexual sermon at her Southern Baptist church.

By the time Shane Stinson was a student at MU, he was severely confused about who he was. It wasn’t until he was accepted to become a Summer Welcome leader that his life eventually turned a full 180.

“Mizzou has proved me wrong in every which way about what it would be like to be out as a transgender person on this campus,” he said.

It was during Summer Welcome training in the spring of 2013 that Shane Stinson met junior Kayley Weinberg. The two were paired in the program and became inseparable.

Shane Stinson told Weinberg he was a transgendered male at the end of that spring semester, while the two were studying for finals.

“(Shane) is my first friend who had come out to me as trans,” Weinberg said, “I was just ready to listen and to learn more than anything.”

Shane Stinson has been out as a trans male to his friends and his long-term girlfriend for several months but started officially using him and he pronouns in October.

“I think that Shane will be one of those people that helps (views of trans) to change because he is the type of person who can talk to anybody and who will listen,” Debbie Stinson said. “And he won’t make people feel bad for who they are.”

Shane Stinson is currently working at Old Navy to save enough money to begin testosterone treatment and eventually top surgery.

In addition to being a 2013 Summer Welcome Leader, which he describes as his best experience on campus thus far, Shane Stinson is also a counselor for Community 360, a social justice retreat; a DJ for KCOU’s show InsideOUT; and a volunteer at the LGBTQ Resource Center.

Shane Stinson’s experience with transitioning has been an overall success, he said. Sharing his experiences with his peers and superiors is, in his eyes, the best way to educate the world on being trans.

“Every time I stand up here, I am so humbled and so thankful for everyone who has been so supportive, and that is obviously going to continue to be, and I can’t thank people enough for proving me wrong,” Shane Stinson said.

When asked Thursday what advice he would give to mankind, Shane said that people should be patient, love and learn.

“Loving people regardless of all these little categories that we can put them in is loving them for being human and embracing all these little parts about them,” he said.

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