MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota waitress found herself an overnight Internet celebrity thanks to the way she says she answered one question asked by one customer’s child.
Liv Hnilicka took to her personal Facebook page Sunday afternoon to share the “stellar parenting moment.”
Hnilicka is transgender. She says she “was a boy” when she was little. But now as an adult she lives “as a girl.”
The waitress says two parents and their young daughter came into her eatery. As she was standing at the water station, she says the dad approached her at the water station.
“He came up to me and said, ‘My daughter just asked if you were a boy or a girl. I didn’t want to speak for you so would you like to talk to her?’ I nervously said yes and walked to their table.”
Hnilicka says she complimented the little girl on her hair ribbon and then began her full answer.
“I said. ‘I heard you asked if I was a boy or girl. I think the important thing to remember is that everyone can be anything they want to be in this world,” Hnilicka wrote. “And it’s also important to try to be the best selves we can be for our family and friends. And even to strangers. So to answer your question, I was told that I was a boy when I was little and now I live my adult life as a girl. It sounds complicated but it’s actually pretty simple.’”
At this point, Hnilicka took a breath and asked if the little girl had any questions.
“She looked at me smiling and simply said, ‘Nope!’” Hnilicka said.
Hnilicka says she then made the post public on her Facebook page in case anyone wanted to share it with a parent they might know.
“I walked away from the table feeling really good about parents intentionally engaging their children about possibly difficult topics,” Hnilicka wrote. “And showing that giving people the power to voice their truths in this complicated world is beautiful and healing.”
The post had been shared more than 1,100 times and liked more than 6,200 times by Wednesday morning.
“This is beautiful,” wrote Katherine Rose in the comments thread of the post. “I am sharing and hope that, as a parent, I always handle potentially difficult questions with this much grace. Also, thank YOU! Because you could have just as easily said no, or not taken the time to engage this young person on such a meaningful level … and then think of the beautiful lesson they would have lost out on.”