I never set out to become a writer, let alone a chosen auntie to so many different children. Growing up transgender meant internalizing that I was defective from a much earlier age. Long ago, the world convinced me that I was dangerous, unsafe, and worthless—to everyone. Because of my broken childhood, I never believed in my right to use my creative voice for anything, not until relatively recently.
Not until Pearl.
In 2015, my whole life changed when I accidentally became a caregiver to the sweetest six-year-old. At the time, I was just a housemate, an awkward pink-haired girl living with a queer family of four in the Pacific Northwest. Seemingly out of nowhere, their youngest child began knocking on my door in the morning.
Pearl wanted help with getting ready for school, and the parents were eager to have another hand in the process. As anxious as I was about working with children, I reluctantly agreed. Two months later, the child we thought was a boy came out to us as a girl.
Pearl regularly asked me to read to her, something to help her sad, anxious mind fall asleep. She struggled so much back then, and I felt responsible in making her feel safe as she drifted off to dreamland.
One evening, on a whim, I decided to read a story of my own. It was my first story ever, actually—a children’s book written for trans girls by a trans woman, but I never told Pearl that.
The Girl from the Stars is about a human-appearing girl named Hailey who wished more than anything to be seen for the star that she was on the inside.