Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-05-22
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Reality show features football, gender fluidity
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Esquire Network's Friday Night Tykes: Steel Country is bringing attention to a gender-fluid 8-year-old this season. One of the cast members prefers to be called Abby Scott some days and Adam Scott on others while being raised in Monaca, Pennsylvania. The Esquire reality show centers around six football teams in the Beaver County Youth Football League, in which Scott plays.

Windy City Times was given a rare interview with Sara Markustic, Scott's mother, concerning this sensitive topic involving her family.

Windy City Times: How did the show happen for you, in the first place?

Sara Markustic: The second week of practice, Abby came to me and told me to talk to the head coach of her team. Abby wanted to be called Adam. I talked to the coach and he said, "Not a problem. Forgive me if it takes a few days to get used to it." He then talked to the other kids about it. Someone from Friday Night Tykes heard about it and wanted to talk about being on the show. I wanted to make sure everything was portrayed positively.

A lot of people probably don't understand that you aren't paid to be on the show. Everything we do is not for money. I want to reach people and let them know about this other community. I didn't even know about the term gender fluid until a year ago.

I thought she might be transgender. I didn't know there is a community that doesn't identify with being either gender. I hope by sharing my story that it might change one family's mind about their child.

We made sure that we ran this by her and explained how big this could be. There might be kids that don't accept it or poke fun but she doesn't care because people already know her as Adam or Abby. All the kids she wrestles with call her Adam. Kids are more accepting than adults.

WCT: Did you consider just calling your child "A?"

SM: No, because there are days when she wakes up I can tell she is Abby and then days where she is Adam. She will wear her girl clothes on the Abby day. We went through and got rid of most of them, but she kept a few select things, the day after that she wore her brother's pants. Adam seems to be a lot nicer to me than Abby!

WCT: This must be a big learning experience for you.

SM: It is. There was one day where she wanted to put on makeup with her sister then the next she wanted to go play with trucks. I never wanted her to feel like there is something wrong with her and take her to a therapist. I feel like there is a lot of stigma for that. I just let her be herself and accept her for who she is.

She is 8 years old right now. This is the easy time. The tough time comes when puberty starts.

WCT: Have you talked to any doctors?

SM: Yes. I have talked to her doctor and we have discussed maybe one day doing a blocker.

WCT: How have things changed since the filming wrapped?

SM: I continue to educate myself and others. I learned a lot about my friends and family in terms of who is there to support me and who is not. It is nice because I have had a lot of support from friends.

WCT: There are not a lot of television shows covering this topic is there?

SM: It has been talked about on Dr. Phil before. She is always interested in those shows. Until a year ago we never talked about the community and being gender-fluid. We told her there are safe ways to reach out to other kids like her. I am a member of a community online where parents and kids discuss this. It is called Parents of Transgender Children, and to be a member you have to submit an application. You have to be a parent of a transgender person or gender fluid person. They monitor everything and provide help with a doctor, if needed.

The mom from the show I Am Jazz is a member of this online group. It is a tight-knit community where everyone helps and educates each other.

WCT: Have you heard negative feedback?

SM: I read comments on Facebook where there are quite a few ignorant people. People will say what I am doing is child abuse. It is ridiculous. If there is one person that I help then I have done my job. That is all I want to do, educate and help people. I didn't know what gender fluid was for seven years but maybe I can help even one family.

Someone said I am letting her make adult decisions but that is not true. I am letting an 8-year-old decide who they want to be and become comfortable in their own skin. There were times I couldn't get her in the bathtub because she didn't want to see herself naked. Cutting her hair and things like that have helped her get in the bathtub herself.

WCT: Do you think things are changing? For example, gender-neutral bathrooms are becoming more common these days.

SM: Her school offered her a private bathroom, which I thought was really cool. Some people have trouble with their school districts but not here. Her school reached out to me because they know about the show and had a safe, neutral bathroom for her.

Abby is not worried about it yet. I am going along for the ride to watch her grow into herself.

Visit for more information on Friday Night Tykes: Steel Country, airing Tuesday nights at 8 p.m.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

NATIONAL Military items, trans murders, Southern trans report 2019-05-22 - Sgt. 1st Class Janina Simmons became the first female African-American soldier to complete the U.S. Army Ranger School course in April, reported. ...

Gay News

New national report details police's transgender policies 2019-05-22 - A newly released report documents the troubled relationship between transgender Americans and the police departments charged with protecting them. "Failing to Protect and ...

Gay News

WBAI installs new president, announces upcoming transgender-focused program 2019-05-21 - Wochner Law Firm LLC partner Corinne Cantwell Heggie will become the Women's Bar Association of Illinois ( WBAI ) president on May 30, ...

Gay News

NBJC on transgender deaths, "How Can We Celebrate Pride If We Keep Dying?" 2019-05-21 - WASHINGTON — This past weekend, Muhlaysia Booker, a young Black Transgender woman, was found murdered in Dallas, Texas. In April of this year, ...

Gay News

Legislation to ensure restroom access passes Illinois House 2019-05-21 - Legislation to modernize Illinois law to ensure single-occupancy restroom facilities are designated as gender neutral passed the Illinois House of Representatives Tuesday, said ...

Gay News

Chicago's Boystown sports rainbow crosswalks 2019-05-19 - Chicago's Boystown neighborhood has added a little color, thanks to rainbow pride crosswalks. Initiated by the Northalsted Business Alliance, the rainbows will adorn ...

Gay News

Youth group hosts gender-expansive services symposium 2019-05-17 - Illinois Collaboration on Youth ( ICOY ) held a day-long gender expansive services symposium May 13 at the Chicago Teachers Union. The day ...

Gay News

Chelsea Manning back in jail 2019-05-16 - On May 16, U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga ordered Chelsea Manning back to jail after the transgender former U.S. Army intelligence analyst ...

Gay News

IDOC trans healthcare court case continues 2019-05-14 - Litigation continues in a federal lawsuit filed by five transgender Illinois prisoners who say that their healthcare is inadequate with Illinois Department of ...

Gay News

GLN hosts Chelsea Manning fundraiser 2019-05-14 - Aiming to lend financial support to transgender whistleblower Chelsea Manning's legal defense, the Gay Liberation Network ( GLN ) hosted a fundraiser May ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.