I wish I could say I had this life changing moment when I was suddenly ‘out’ but the reality is that there are still people I am coming out too. I’m nearly 21 now but I was 17 when I realised I am transgender after exploring my gender with friends who incidentally were the first people I told, they were supportive and didn’t care what I was but that I was happy.
On my 18th birthday I officially came out to my parents, I was particularly unsubtle so they must have known long before then what with the “If I were a boy what would you have named me?” and “If you had two sons instead of one…?” questions. It wasn’t as easy as saying “I’m transgender” because what does that even mean? What changes do we need to make? What changes are you going to make? Are you sure? Have you really thought about this? I was still figuring out exactly what this did mean to me, what I wanted so also having to explain what being transgender meant, what I was feeling/thinking was rough. There was this undercurrent that felt like maybe this was something that would pass, that I was young and didn’t know what I was getting myself into but the more research and personal evaluation I did the more certain I became, this was real and that was something we all came to terms with together. I changed my name by deed poll but it took 2 years (at least) before my family was used to it, even now there is still the odd stumble with pronouns and name, I learned a lot about patience but I grew closer to my family as we stumbled through this together.
My parents told the rest of each side of my family respectively, this is one of my only regrets, that I wasn’t the one to tell everyone but no one even batted an eye, family reached out to say they were there if I ever needed to talk and that I was loved no matter what. I am so lucky, I have an amazing family and there is so much love there.
I changed my name on Facebook and left it at that, I assume that was enough.
I was lucky with my GP; they had already had a trans patient and immediately referred me to a Gender Identity Clinic. Now I’ve been on testosterone for over a year, am over 3 months post-op chest reconstruction surgery and feel like I fit in my skin. Every morning I wake up feeling so grateful for the body I now live in and the life it’s afforded me.