‘You will always be my kiddo that I am proud of and love’: Prominent Madison area chef announces oldest child is transgender

Ollie And Their Family
Photo courtesy of Dave Heide

MADISON, Wis. — In a Facebook post Thursday, prominent Madison area chef Dave Heide announced that his oldest child is transgender.

In the post, Heide announced that his child’s new name is Ollie and uses they/them pronouns.

Heide wrote in the post, “I am so proud of this human. I have known them as Lily for their whole life, and I look forward to many adventures with this amazing human and having a million new memories with them. I love you Ollie, no matter your name, your gender, or your pronouns. You will always be my kiddo that I am proud of and love.”

In an interview with Heide, he said the most important thing to him is taking care of his kids and making sure they are safe. Heide said he also feels it’s important that society makes announcements like this more normalized so there is no shame or worry.

“This is my human and I know Ollie has friends who have come out to their parents as trans and their parents are like, ‘No we are calling you our daughter,’ and just not acknowledging that. Every parent who does that — at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what gender they have, they’re my kid and I love them.”

Heide has three restaurants named after his children: Liliana’s in Fitchburg, Charlie’s On Main in Oregon which recently closed due to the pandemic, and Little John’s, a pay-what-you-can restaurant.

Heide said he will leave it up to Ollie to decide if they want to change the name of Liliana’s restaurant to reflect their new name.

“I care about the food I put out,” Heide said. “For me, I don’t care about the brand. It’s up to Ollie and what they want and they haven’t made up their mind.”

Heide said Ollie has identified as non-binary for more than a year and had been contemplating a name change for months.

“This should be a thing filled with pride and love and should never be about something like shame and worry.”