I came out as transgender right after I turned thirteen, but I had known since I was nine or ten. It was my first year of middle school and I decided that I wouldn't be able to handle being in the girl’s locker room. I told my parents, and in less than a week, the school had it all figured out! Ever since I was in fourth grade, I was doing research on what being transgender is and what it means. I spent countless hours on YouTube watching videos of trans guys doing updates on their Testosterone or their surgery and I thought, “Wow! I want that. I want to be like that.”
During that summer, I went to a Jewish summer camp and was put in the girl’s cabin. In Judaism, Saturday is the day of rest and the day when you're supposed to pray. When you go to services, girls are supposed to wear dresses or skirts and boys are supposed to wear dress pants and button up shirts. I had to wear a dress. I hated it. It was uncomfortable and it felt wrong. When I was younger, I would throw fits about wearing dresses or skirts. I really hated it. The girls in my cabin made fun of me for it. Comments like “it's just a dress” and “there’s no way you can hate dresses, you're a girl” hurt me. They made me want to scream and tell them that I was a boy.
I spent so long in the closet because I was afraid of what my parents would do. I had so much internalized anxiety that I didn't even come out in person, I sent an email. When I got back from the camp I decided that I had to tell my parents. I had to be myself. So I did. I sent an email to my mom on August 15th. I was shaking when I sent it. My parents accepted me for who I was. My advice to anybody, not just kids who are LGBTQ+, is to be yourself as much as you can.