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Khary Payton’s most important role is as a loving father to his transgender son

Khary Payton, transgender son
Khary PaytonPhoto: YouTube screenshot

Khary Payton is best known for his roles in The Walking Dead and General Hospital, but away from the camera, he plays his most important role: that of a loving father to his transgender son, Karter.

“Life never unfolds exactly the way you expect it to,” Khary Payton said. “That’s what makes it so beautiful — the discovery. Being a parent of an LGBTQ child is an opportunity to support and witness a wondrous discovery.”

Raising an LGBTQ child is “a wild experience,” he added. He had initially told himself a story about how he thought his child’s story would unfold. But then his son informed him that he had a different story to tell.

“It’s awesome. but it’s scary because you’re not sure how the world’s gonna treat them, you know?” the father said. “And you want them to be protected. You want them to be happy and healthy and thriving.”

Payton eventually introduced his son to the world in a June 2020 Instagram post, something his son was excited about. The father wrote, “This my kid. One of the most happy, well-adjusted individuals I’ve ever known.”

Payton and his son knew that some of the actor’s social media followers wouldn’t understand the importance of their announcement. So in a follow-up video, Payton educated people about what it means to be trans.

“This is not about the trappings of our body. This is not about dresses and pants,” Payton said. “This is about our mind and how we love ourselves.”

Since his initial announcement, Payton has spoken about the pride he feels in raising his son. Karter has taught him how to be a better listener and a more supportive parent in a world full of questions about trans youth.

“Man, there is nothing more beautiful than watching your child feel the joy of exploring what it means to be true to themselves,” Payton wrote. “This is his journey, and I am here for it.”


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