'This is his journey': 'Walking Dead' actor introduces transgender son

"He was born female but has always identified as a boy."
Actor Khary Payton attends the Season 10 premiere of "The Walking Dead" on Sept. 23, 2019.
Actor Khary Payton attends the Season 10 premiere of "The Walking Dead" on Sept. 23, 2019.Lisa O'Connor / AFP via Getty Images

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/ Source: TODAY
By Kerry Breen

"The Walking Dead" star Khary Payton announced on Tuesday afternoon that his 11-year-old son Karter is transgender.

Payton, who plays Ezekiel on the long-running AMC show, made the announcement in a brief Twitter thread.

"This is my kid," Payton wrote alongside an adorable photo of his son smiling and giving a thumbs-up. "One of the most happy, well-adjusted individuals I've ever known. My son, Karter. Karter with a K because it reminded him of my name. He chose it. You see, he was born female but has always identified as a boy."

Payton said Karter had asked him to share the news on his social accounts.

"(Karter) thought it would be cool if I announced it on social media," Payton continued. "I told him there would be so many supporters but also a lot of jerks who would be harsh. He said, 'Yeah, I know about trolls, Daddy. I can handle trolls.'"

"Man, there is nothing more beautiful than watching your child feel the joy of exploring what it means to be true to themselves," Payton continued. "This is his journey, and I am here for it. I hope you all have the opportunity to feel the unquenchable love that I am feeling right now."

Twitter fans and followers were quick to support Payton and Karter.

"(Thumbs up) right back at Karter!" wrote "Star Wars" actor Mark Hamill in a short, emoji-studded message.

"He is gonna flip when I show him your reply," Payton responded.

Some offered to defend Karter against any trolls or negativity online.

"Me getting ready to fight off the haters," wrote one fan, in a comment that also praised the father and son.

"He may be able to handle trolls but he shouldn't have to," added another.

Others applauded Payton's open-mindedness.

"This is beautiful," wrote one commentator, praising Payton for doing a "great job."

Another Twitter user added that the "most important thing" for transgender children is having supportive parents.

"What a star," wrote another. "We should be so proud of our trans kids and sing it from the roof tops. So happy to see a like minded parent."

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