Why a transgender waitress’ powerful Facebook post is going viral

Teachable moments sometimes come when you least expect it. That’s what Liv Hnilicka, a Minneapolis waitress, learned on Sunday, while she was serving a little girl and her parents. Describing the encounter in a now viral Facebook post as the “stellar parenting moment of the day,” she wrote:

Despite feeling “nervous,” Liv said yes, and she headed over to their table to talk to the little girl. She started out by complimenting her hair ribbon, then continued with a brief but beautiful explanation:

The little girl just smiled in response, then said, “Nope!”

“I walked away from the table feeling really good about parents intentionally engaging their children about possibly difficult topics,” Liv wrote on Facebook. “And showing that giving people the power to voice their truths in this complicated world is beautiful and healing. Way to go, mom and dads out there making space for transfolks/gnc people like me.”

She then added that she’s made the status public so anyone can share it, and share, they did — in just a day, it’s been shared over five hundred times and has racked up over two thousand likes. And we can totally see why: Liv’s compassionate response was simple but brilliant, and proved that a generation of young people can learn acceptance and tolerance, with the help of both parents and strangers alike.

Not only was this situation handled with grace and understanding by her parents, who neither spoke for Liv nor ignored their child’s honest and innocent question, but by Liv, who took this opportunity to teach a beautiful lesson in acceptance, kindness, and diversity. Sure, kids can make for some awkward moments sometimes, but if we handle them right, they can create beautiful conversations that bring us all closer together.

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