Celebrity Parents Khary Payton Introduces Son Karter: 'He Was Born Female But Has Always Identified as a Boy' "There is nothing more beautiful than watching your child feel the joy of exploring what it means to be true to themselves," Khary Payton wrote in his post By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE. A '90s teen and horror film connoisseur, she started at the brand in 2016, after a decade of working as a technical writer and then moonlighting as a journalist beginning in 2013. Originally from New Orleans, Jen grew up both in NOLA and Florida and eventually attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando (still her home base!), where she earned a bachelor's in English/technical communication, with a minor in magazine journalism. People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 16, 2020 12:16 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Karter Payton. Photo: Khary Payton/ Instagram; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Khary Payton is one proud papa. On Monday, The Walking Dead star introduced fans and followers to his older child, son Karter, sharing a photo to Instagram of the youngster wearing a helmet, elbow pads and a wrist guard. "This my kid. 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," Payton, 48, captioned the image. "You see, he was born female but has always identified as a boy. He thought it would be cool if I announced it on social media." The actor went on to say he warned Karter that "there would be so many supporters but also a lot of jerks who would be harsh" — and his son responded, " '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." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Khary Payton. Tommaso Boddi/Getty Parents Open Up About Helping People Embrace Their 12-Year-Old Son's Identity as Transgender Payton's wife Stacy shared an adorable photo of Karter to her Instagram feed, raving about how "incredibly proud" she is of him for embracing his true self. "I am overjoyed to introduce you to my son, Karter," Stacy captioned the image. "When he was born we thought he was a girl. We were mistaken. He is a boy. A smart, funny, brave, loving, magnificent boy." "Karter is so confident in who he is and was thrilled for me to let everyone know that he's finally living as his true self. As a boy. As my son. As Karter," she continued. "I am so incredibly proud of him and feel blessed every single day to be his mama." Karter is the older child of Stacy and Payton, who is known for his role as King Ezekiel on The Walking Dead. They also shares daughter Maya. RELATED VIDEO: Dwyane Wade's Daughter Makes First Red Carpet Appearance as Zaya with Dad and Gabrielle Union Payton and Stacy regularly share photos of their children, both separately and bonding both as siblings and with their parents. In March, the actor shared a too-cute family snapshot from Galaxy's Edge, the new interactive Star Wars-themed land at Disney Parks. Payton posed with his son and daughter in front of the Millennium Falcon ship, with Maya rocking a pair of Minnie ears and Karter dressed in a hoodie and black baseball cap. "GOOSE. BUMPS. Walking into #GalaxysEdge I love geeking out with my little lovelies. #rebels #starwars," he wrote in the caption.