Hey, my name is Seth, I use he/him pronouns, and I am finally writing this. I think a running theme in my life seems to be procrastination. I procrastinate projects, biographies, homework, figuring out I was trans, and getting up in the mornings (but that just might be the depression). You might have missed it, but I really did procrastinate figuring out I was trans! I clearly remember sitting on the cold tiles of my bathroom floor at the wee age o’ 4-5 years old and thinking, “Man, wouldn’t life be so much easier and better if I was born a boy?”
“I mean, sure, it would.”
“Aw well, too bad. Guess I better get going and play with my Barbies.”
After that, I pushed it to the back of my mind, and I constantly tried to fit in with my peers. It was a little difficult because I never made friends easily, and I’m pretty sure that I was the most annoying kind on earth until I hit high school. I still may be the most annoying kid on earth, but I guess I won’t know until I’m older.
Before my best friend came out to me as gay, I never was involved in the LGBTQ+ community. Of course, I had those lesbian relatives that got married and had a beautiful wedding, but I didn’t realize that was out of the ordinary. I was a naive kid. But, when my friend came out to me, it got me thinking. Was I gay? Did I like girls? Nah. I am the straightest girl you have ever seen. And I was! Right up until freshman year of high school, when I figured out that I had a crush on this girl a couple rows back in math. She had gorgeous red-orange hair, and her smile lit up the room. So, I said that MAYBE I was a little bi.
Junior high was really the time for me to figure things out. It was also the time to have panic attacks and bouts of depression over every little interaction. When people would call me “Miss,” “young woman,” “daughter,” it pushed me deeper into this hole of self-hate. Why did it feel so bad to be called those things? It didn’t make sense.
Eventually it hit me. I probably gasped really loud in the middle of class, but it was band and we were practicing our breathing technique, so it was fine. The teacher probably thought my technique was just awful. After school, I went home and looked up every article, every YouTube coming out video, and took every quiz there was online. “How to know if you’re trans.” It felt right! It was freeing and relieving. Unfortunately, I now had to tell my family. Also unfortunately, I think my parents figured out like two months into my attempt to hide who I was. By the third month, I think my parents got tired and my step dad sat me down on my bed and asked why my pronouns on Facebook were they/them. After a long humiliating conversation about how I didn’t really have any good male figures in my life and how this wasn’t a fit for me, he left.
“Are you sure it’s not just a phase?” “My daughter is gone.” “I’m sorry if I mess up, it’s just that I’ve known you for such a long time!” “She-they-he-it... Oh, whatever you are.”
It took awhile. And sometimes people still mess up in my family, and strangers do call me by she/her pronouns, but I don’t mind as much as I used to, because now I have a supportive group of family, friends, and siblings who will fight for me. My parents call me their son, and I have an adorable little sister who calls me her big brother.
I still shy away from gendered terms, but I think that’s all my internalized transphobia. It feels right, just embarrassing. Like I don’t deserve to be called those names. Maybe someday I’ll get over it. On the bright side, being bi and trans is great, because I can still call myself bi even after I’ve come out as trans!
My advice to youth today is that the world now is becoming a better place! People are becoming more accepting, and our youth is growing up to be amazing individuals with open minds. But we still need help. These narratives can only do so much to raise awareness. We need to go throughout our lives every day with kindness and acceptance and informing others to do the same. I want this generation’s children to grow up in a world not enveloped in news coverages of police brutality and trans students just trying to use the bathroom, but of youth doing things to make this world a better place.
I have high hopes, and I really feel that we are making a difference. I’m so glad to have so many resources around, like Encircle, LGBTQ+ groups, and now a GSA at my high school. I am so grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the people I know who have helped (and continue) to help me be a better person. My mom fights for accessibility, my friends fight for kindness and acceptance, and my siblings and I fight for the next generation of youth. I know we can make a difference.