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The story of a parent’s transition and a son’s redemption | Paula Stone and Jonathan Williams

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Paula Stone Williams knew from a young age that she was transgender. But as she became a parent and prominent evangelical pastor, she feared that coming out would mean losing everything. In this moving, deeply personal talk, Paula and her son Jonathan Williams share what Paula's transition meant for their family — and reflect on their path to redemption. As Jonathan says: "I cannot ask my father to be anything other than her true self."

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31 Comments on The story of a parent’s transition and a son’s redemption | Paula Stone and Jonathan Williams

  1. Spongebob SquarePants // 28th January 2019 at 4:04 pm // Reply

    People are getting triggered brace yourself

  2. 13 minute video uploaded 5 minutes ago, already many dislikes… at least watch the video before you disagree.

    • doughntworry It’s not a realistic request, not to say they shouldn’t watch enough of it to make an informed decision rather than voting based on the title.

    • Steven_Duller // 28th January 2019 at 9:09 pm // Reply

      It’s not that we don’t agree, it’s that we miss the old TED where it wasn’t about virtue signalling and identity politics and they actually told us some cool information.

  3. The Freedom Universe // 28th January 2019 at 4:11 pm // Reply

    Wow this is one of the MOST emotional Ted talks I have watched till now. Almost made me cry !

  4. To be yourself is all that you can do.

  5. Millionaire Mind - How To Succeed Online // 28th January 2019 at 4:14 pm // Reply

    Really inspirational! Loving your video’s! Who wants to learn and network? Let me know and let’s support each other!

  6. Congratulations for having the courage to present this topic together! And having the strength to endure the following hatred from hurt people.

  7. Comments will be respectful and thoughtful, I’m sure

  8. I couldnt help but shed a few tears at this, this is definitely one of the most powerful ted talks ive ever watched. im so happy that Paula has such an amazing son who accepts her and loves her even though it was so difficult at first. i love this, so much

  9. to all the people disliking. this ted talk was about acceptance and love. give it a chance. <3

  10. A Chameleon's Kaleidoscope Eyes // 28th January 2019 at 4:49 pm // Reply

    To the people downvoting, what is so hard to understand? This is someone who is not afraid to be herself. She stands up & continues walking along as you throw your vile comments at them. How is this fair? What did they do to you? Nothing.
    & I think people want to pick someone different apart, because they feel they have some right about what is normal & not. They don’t look like you, therefore they must be evil. That’s not what society should be about, it’s about DIVERSITY & accepting others on AND offline. Everybody has a right to be themselves, & when you walk by them & judge, its because you can’t be that confident & happy, so you attack & say “mentally ill!” that reaction means something, something you’ve suppressed. you’re just shouting at your own reflection. Not shouting at a person, you are shouting at yourself. So, stop hating yourself. And let people be, as you would in public.

    • What vile comments? Don’t confuse disagreement with whatever you call vile. I expect that we have VERY different definitions of the word “vile”, Malfoy.

      “what is so hard to understand?” Why do you assume that they don’t?

      “someone who is not afraid to be” On the contrary, he has hated and rejected himself, so why is it surprising if society rejects him as well?

      “throw your vile comments” Why do you assume they will be able to read these comments and that the comments are directed at him? If anything, it appears that the comments are being purged from wrong think.

      “How is this fair?” Live isn’t fair. If TED has the right to upload, we have the right to speak against perversion and societal degradation, or at least as much as anyone else who comments.

      “What did they do to you?” That is not the measure of our rights to speak freely.

      “pick someone different apart” As if we have never seen this before? Not at all, rather we are force fed this nonsense so much that people are VERY tired of it.

      “therefore they must be evil” That is a strawman. There are plenty of reasons to be against these anti-science beliefs that TED insists on uploading.

      “not what society should be about” You could hardly be more wrong. “Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society. ”

      “it’s about diversity” While you openly condemn diversity of thought.

      “accepting others” I accept they have a right to be whatever they want to be. They don’t have a right to force others to call it normal and support such a self-destructive path.

      “its because you aren’t confident and happy. something you have suppressed. stop hating yourself” There is no way for you to know that without being a mind reader. Not to mention that you are conveniently ignoring any other argument that they may offer.

    • Amanda Burkhart // 28th January 2019 at 10:30 pm // Reply

      Thank you!!! Sad to see so much confusion, misunderstanding and hate. If only people would put themselves in others’ shoes…

  11. Soren Sorensen // 28th January 2019 at 5:05 pm // Reply

    I miss the old TED, without so much politics.

    • Pam's Pretty Pennies // 28th January 2019 at 5:33 pm // Reply

      “Politics” – people’s lives that make me uncomfortable.

    • Really? Funny, but I don’t see any “politics” here. I would classify this as science, psychology, and philosophy. The only “politics” that anyone could possibly see here would be from people with a particular “political agenda.” And that certainly does not describe either of these 2 speakers.

    • Zidders Roofurry // 28th January 2019 at 7:14 pm // Reply

      Transitioning and coping with being religious and trying to deal with the many conflicts that causes isn’t politics. Being trans isn’t a political statement. It’s part of their life. It’s part of who they are. The only one doing anything wrong here is you. Calling it political and implying it should be removed from the channel is saying you don’t think people who are trans should have a voice. That’s wrong.

  12. This warms my heart so much. Thank you.

  13. Candy Crusher // 28th January 2019 at 6:14 pm // Reply

    Good talk – ignore the haters.

  14. Juan Fernando Estrada // 28th January 2019 at 7:02 pm // Reply

    Beautiful heartwarming story. Left me crying tears of joy, love and hope.

  15. Ok, first of all, I don’t have anything against transgender people or the LGBT community in general, but I feel like TED is not the place for this kind of debates. First of all, it feels very forced, it screams “Everyone hates me. I’m a victim” and while I do empathise and feel like nobody should be ostracised for their sexuality, I also have to acknowledge that it does not contribute to society in a positive way, on the contrary.

    If you point out at every corner that you’re transgender and complain about it, of course narrow-minded people are going to distance themselves from you. It’s only when you treat your sexuality as a normal thing and don’t broadcast it to the world that things take a turn for the better. Nothing wrong or abnormal with being trans; so don’t act like it’s abnormal.

    • It is abnormal in the sense that trans people are harassed and attacked due to their transexuality. Not to mention that the discrimination against them in general, e.g. Trump’s ban of transexuals from serving in the military. As long as they are being treated as second class citizens, I think talks like this that show their humanity and struggles are very important.

      As far as TED not being an appropriate place for a talk like this, why? TED has always featured many different topics and isn’t confined to one area. This channel really suffers from people complaining about LGBT, women or minorities featured, which is more telling of their own biases, prejudices and intolerance.

  16. William Cunningham // 28th January 2019 at 8:04 pm // Reply

    I feel compelled to vote thumbs up or thumbs down as the numbers are very close. My dilemma is this. Paula stone did not wake up one day and discover that she was a woman this has obviously been going on for her entire life why does she wait until she has a family to decide to transition. Now there are other lives that are affected by her decisions. She said she even knew this at the age of three or four. Why did she MoveOn and get married and have children and then decide to make this decision. It’s one thing to come out to announce to your family that you’re gay but to change your entire gender that’s a whole different story.

    • You do realize that there are gay people (men and women) that were married to their opposite sex and brought children into this world, right? Transgender people story is very similar to that of gay folks. Society tells them that the only way to live a happy productive life is to marry and have kids with a member of the opposite sex. Anything else should be viewed as an abomination. Society is extremely toxic and it’s sad that most people (not you) buy into the brainwashing until their favorite “idol” tells them it’s ok to accept (fill in race, religion, culture, sexual orientation) people. Perhaps, Paula and many others, felt more confident as they grew older leading to the point of coming out and embracing their true self. Now, family and friends have a choice to accept those changes in Paula and it’s not her fault if they choose to distant themselves away from her. Personally, I don’t know any transgender people, but the abuse, physical and verbal, they endure is extremely irritating to me. That’s why I gave this video a thumbs up. I hope everything makes sense.

    • Amanda Burkhart // 28th January 2019 at 10:26 pm // Reply

      +casualgerm thank you for responding and doing it eloquently.

  17. Amanda Anderson // 28th January 2019 at 8:59 pm // Reply

    “As long as what you do doesn’t hurt anyone” is an unfair excuse. We live with and around people. They will get hurt and there are consequences to our choices, liberal or conservative. If I shaved my head, got plastic surgery, and became a stripper even though I’m female and have the right to do so my choices will hurt, confuse, and put people closest to me off. Change takes time to get used to. Give people time for acceptance and they will come back to you.

  18. Terrible to be treated so poorly by people who should be the most accepting individuals. But then church is often a place people who have the most problems attend.

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