The other day, my kids and I walked into our bank because my daughter was having some trouble with her online account. When we were called forward to speak to a teller, I couldn’t help but notice all of the decorative pins and buttons the teller wore on her I.D. lanyard. In those pins and buttons was one clarifying she/her pronouns, plus an unmistakable trans pride button. I smiled inside; this person wouldn’t slide her eyes over my daughter in confusion or judgment.  In this moment, we might experience recognition and representation.

My daughter is still in the process of outing herself, and she’s really doing it on her own schedule. Our friends and family know, and we all use her chosen name and pronouns, but in the wider realm, she isn’t completely out of the he/him – deadname world. She knew her bank account was still under her old name, and she was ok with using that for clarification.

So when the teller asked us how she could help, my daughter used her old name and the teller began typing away to find her account. While she did this, I asked my daughter a question, and I used her new name while we chatted. I could almost feel the teller’s eyes pop up from her computer screen and glance at me. Then at my daughter, then back at me. The wheels were clearly turning in her mind.

The teller finished what she was doing, solved my daughter’s account problem, and then asked my daughter, “Honey, what’s your name?” 

My daughter faltered for a second, and then said, “Well, the account is under ______ (insert birth name).”

Her response: “Yes, but what’s your name.” Inside, I felt my heart begin to glow as I witnessed this exchange.

My daughter shifted a little, gave a small smile, and told the teller her new name.

The teller then asked, “How about I just put a little note in your account that tells people that that’s the name you go by?” 

At this point, I couldn’t suppress my silent grin.  My daughter, of course, agreed to the tellers suggestion. The teller was smiling at this point, too.

My daughter thanked the teller and, as my kids started walking away, I turned to the teller, locked eyes with her, and said “Thank you,” in an extremely pointed way. And then tears almost came to my eyes, because she actually clasped her hands in front of her breast, gave a glowing smile and said, just as pointedly, “Absolutely anytime.” 

It made me wonder what this woman’s life experience had been. Did she have parents who understood? Was she supported in her upbringing? She clearly had sussed out the relationship I had with my daughter and saw support and love; is that what made her clasp her hands like that? Or was it because, in our interactions with her, she got the chance to partake in that support and love as well? I very much hope it was both, and I very much hope that she gets to enjoy love and support in her life as well. She certainly provided us with some that day.

Seeing people “like you” out in the world is so important. And feeling that quiet, “yeah, I see you and I’ve got you,” message can lift the spirit and validate the self in such a powerful way. For us that day, it turned a potentially tricky moment into a really beautiful gift. 

This short video from PBS uses teens’ own words to describe what representation in the media means to them, but it’s also important to see people in your daily life and interactions that offer that personal, direct support. Receiving an unspoken message of: “I see you, I’m like you, and you’re great,” puts a glow directly into the heart. We all seek acceptance in our lives all the time, whether we have it at home or not. Being out, being expressive, and paving the way for others is such a noble act, and I’m so grateful to that lovely bank teller for giving my daughter that experience.

Thank you, bank teller lady! You made a difference in our day, and in my daughter’s life!

Looking for support in your own life? Or in your challenges? Don’t go at it alone! I’d be so happy to chat with you, hear you, and give you the time to see if coaching with me would be a good fit for you. Feel free to book a complimentary consultation with me either through this website, or at my other site,


By Published On: March 25, 2024Categories: Gender Transition, Up-Leveling Life

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