Monday was a big day for Madeline Ralston—it was the last day there would be a Madeline Ralston. On that day, the 20-year-old stood in front of a Clark County, Nev., judge and explained why her birth certificate should read male. And then it was so, and Maddy forever became Jake, and Jake called his dad to share the good news. Jon Ralston heard a "giddy" voice on the other end of the line, and the moment inspired Ralston—"one of the most respected political reporters in Nevada," per the Washington Post—to write a "love story," a blog post about "how my daughter became my son," he tweeted. It's been shared more than 16,000 times. The post is bookended with parallel statements, opening with the line, "When Maddy Ralston came into this world almost 21 years ago, it was love at first sight."
He writes of "a stunning, blonde-blue-eyed kid" who he thought of as a tomboy through and through. "We went shopping for clothes, and she would never go into the girls’ section. Always the boys. It wasn't even a question. I didn’t really care. She was my little girl, and I adored her." He could tell that things were rough for Maddy as she was teased and bullied and called a lesbian in high school, that "something wasn't right." But "I don't think I even listened very well when Maddy told me a few years ago she was really a male inside." What he thought was a phase clearly wasn't, and Ralston has "come to not just accept it but to embrace" his child's truth—though there are moments when it's hard. And then, that touching bookend: "When I get home later this week, I will see someone officially named Jake Ralston for the first time. And one thing I know for certain: It will be love at first sight." Read his full post here. (Read more transgender stories.)