By Jena Lynde-Smith

We are who we are and we love who we love.

Rick Prashaw, journalism alumnus, hopes to get this message across with his book Soar, Adam, Soar. In his memoir, he writes of his son Adam’s journey as a transgender male, epileptic and organ donor.

In 1993, Rebecca Danielle Adam Prashaw was born. Prashaw said he and his wife were sure they were having a boy. They were going to name him Adam. Quite to their surprise, they had their daughter. They decided to make her middle name Adam.

According to Prashaw, Rebecca had many challenges throughout her life. At 18, she began her transition to male and started going by her middle name, Adam. In the next few years, Adam underwent two brain surgeries for his epilepsy.

Only two months after his last surgery, Adam died at age 22 as the result of a tragic accident. His heart was then donated to save the life of a 53-year-old man.

It was during his grieving that Prashaw said he realized he needed to bring light to his son’s story. He published his book in February and is now sharing it across Canada.

“The whole tour is an opportunity to tell the kid’s story,” he said. “It’s new for so many people… it’s just not something they know about.”

Once a journalist, a Catholic priest, a Canadian NGO leader, and a political staff member, Prashaw has worn many hats. He said he came from a very traditional but loving family. Although accepting of Adam’s choices, Prashaw still had his own struggles to deal with as the parent of a trans-teen.

“I needed to read a lot, I needed to talk to others and I needed professional reassurance,” he said. “I was afraid for him. I thought ‘how do I protect him when I know I can’t protect him?’”

Prashaw said he plans to continue sharing Adam’s story in hopes of reaching parents and families of transgender youth.

“Life has taken me down many interesting roads, and now the latest appears to be a transgender activist,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who we are or who we love. I’ve always believed that.”

Prashaw’s book events can be found here, and Soar, Adam, Soar is for sale online at Indigo.

Thursday, September 12, 2019 in
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