Walking Dead Actor Introduces His 11-Year-Old Trans Son To Fans With Powerful Message

by : Emily Brown on : 17 Jun 2020 14:15
Walking Dead Actor Introduces His Trans Son To Fans With Powerful MessageWalking Dead Actor Introduces His Trans Son To Fans With Powerful MessageStacy Reed Payton/Instagram/ABC

The Walking Dead actor Khary Payton has proudly introduced his 11-year-old transgender son, Karter, to welcoming fans and followers on social media. 

Payton, who is also known for his voice role of the DC Comics character Cyborg, shared a picture of Karter on Twitter and explained his son thought it would be ‘cool’ if his dad announced he identified as a boy.


The actor explained Karter was born a girl, but ‘has always identified as a boy’ and now wants to share his identity with the wider world.

Payton introduced Karter on Twitter, writing simply: ‘this is my kid’, before going on to describe the 11-year-old as ‘one of the most happy, well-adjusted individuals’ he’s ever known.

The message is one of hope to other young transgender people, for who sharing their true identity can be tough, highlighting you can always be proud and honest about who you are.


Payton explained his son chose the name Karter himself, and asked that it be spelt with a ‘K’ because it reminded him of his dad.

Before sharing his son’s story on Twitter, Payton took the time to warn the 11-year-old that, sadly, not everyone may react positively. Unfortunately there are still far too many people going out of their way to criticise others online, whether it be for their sexuality, race, opinions or gender, even when it has absolutely nothing to do with them.

Karter wasn’t going to let the prospect of bullies stop him from being proud of himself though – and rightly so – as Payton wrote:


I told him that there would 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.”

Payton made his adoration for his son clear as he continued the Twitter thread, indicating he would be supporting his son every step of the way.

Khary wrote:


Man, there is nothing more beautiful than watching your child feel the joy of exploring what it means to be true to themselves. 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.

Karter’s mum, Stacy Reed Payton, shared a similar outpouring of love as she introduced the youngster on Instagram. She wrote that she and Payton were ‘mistaken’ in thinking he was a girl when he was born, adding: ‘He is a boy. A smart, funny, brave, loving, magnificent boy.’


The adoring mother went on to say her son is ‘so confident in who he is’ and said he was ‘thrilled’ to ‘let everyone know that he’s finally living as his true self.’

Karter’s news was well received online, with hundreds of people, including Star Wars’ Mark Hamill, expressing their support for the 11-year-old.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, LGBTQ+, Now, The Walking Dead, transgender


Khary Payton/Twitter and 1 other
  1. Khary Payton/Twitter


  2. Stacey Reed Payton/Instagram