Not giving a fuck has allowed me to be who I am and has given me the opportunity to fall in love with the most breathtakingly beautiful girl that I've ever laid my eyes on.
“I have been given the wonderful gift of being this boy’s mother. … He has taught me so much in his 10 years.”
I came out as transgender when I was eight and a half, but I have known since I was four or five. I came out to my parents after they let me cut my hair how I wanted it. I didn’t come out earlier because I was afraid that my parents would be sad that they were losing their little girl.
When things get difficult, take it slow, be patient, and it will get better.
For most of my life, I was happy with myself. I felt like I fit in. In middle school, I started having anxiety attacks. My body started changing too. I started to look like someone I didn't like.
While I was trying to figure the type of person I wanted to grow up to be, I would often look towards men. But when I thought more into it, I didn't want to be the female version. I wanted to be just as masculine.
My advice to any trans or queer kid is to be open about it, and always love yourself. There is a lot of bad out in the world, but we are all worth every bit of good.
My first crush was on my best friend in kindergarten. Sometimes I wished I were a girl because I wanted boys to like me back, and I was so sheltered that I didn’t know what “gay” meant.
Never lose hope. Sometimes hope will be all that you have.
If you don’t see any light, make your own.
I was having so many troubles with self-confidence. I was incredibly depressed and shied away from everyone. But with the luck that I had and the people who accepted me and how I was feeling, I was able to reconnect with myself.
Whoever you are, you're not alone. You have so many quirky, antisocial, wallflower, fabulous people waiting for you. And we'll carry you as far as you need.
I never wanted to be a black sheep, so I always tried my hardest to be the funniest, most popular kid everybody knows. But at church I was a sinner, and at school I was the weird kid who was no more than effeminate.
Two years ago, I thought I would never be accepted or loved, and now I feel love everywhere I go and I wish the same for others.
Once I realized that I liked guys, I wrote a letter to my parents telling them, “I’m attracted to guys, but not in that way.... I never want you to talk to me about this.” I was “struggling” with same-sex attraction and I was going to get over it and of course I was going to marry a woman.
I continued to do all the things my religion told me would make me happy and at peace, but all it did was make me feel worthless. For the longest time my sexuality seemed to be something to be ashamed of and to keep hidden, but I finally realized I needed to be proud, and to be an example to others who might be struggling through the same things.
I’m content with myself right now and it’s lovely and it’s the first time I remember feeling it. The more I’m here, the more things are less solid and black and white, and I see the grey area and the fluidity of it all.
Coming out to my mom was easy. But coming out to my extremely conservative and unforgiving LDS family - That. Was. Brutal. In the end, I am who I am, and though I lost a lot, they can't touch me. They can't hurt me, or change me.
Always, always, always be true to yourself. Find someone you can call your rock, reach out to others, and find your tribe.
At about 12 years old, I started praying and crying every night to God asking Him to make me normal. He didn’t answer my prayers.
There are great things that I was taught in the Church that have shaped who I am, and there are some things that still hurt to think about.
I started watching and reading stories of transgender kids who had known they weren't their assigned gender since they were very young, and this bothered me. I wasn’t like that.
Not everyone's story is the same. There is no “normal” situation. It doesn't matter how late or early you are in discovering a part of yourself.
Imagine that every gender is a box. Some people believe that there are only two boxes, but there are actually thousands. I have jumped from box to box to box, never finding one that fits just right, and decided boxes just aren’t for me. I am human. I am Nate.
I was adopted at the age of five and raised in the Mormon church. Ninth grade was when I accepted that I was gay. And yet, I continued to struggle. I knew who I was, and I knew who the church wanted me to be. And I knew that these two versions of me couldn’t exist at the same time.
At the beginning of March 2017, my dad asked me if I was still “confused” and if I was still unbelieving in the Church. When I said yes, my dad told me that I was disrupting the “Spirit” in our home and that I could change or I could leave. A few weeks later I left to stay with a friend and his family.
I did have to let go of the Church and leave my home. It is difficult. But I no longer have to lie about who I am. And although things aren’t perfect, I’ve never felt more happy or free.
We often let other people project their fears onto us, but we need to take a stand.
Hiding behind a straight persona was a harmful way to live, and I decided to let go of that facade. I made a ton more friends, boys and girls; I joined sports teams but I also joined dancing, painting, and singing classes. Previously, I had deprived myself of these amazing creative outlets, but I realized they allowed me to express who I was.
I was never against being with a girl; I just didn't think much of it. Then I saw a whole new kind of beauty in her. She was the only person who could effortlessly keep a smile on my face.
I knew it was love, and I never doubted that.
As a kid I started to realize that the way my friends talked about girls was the same way I felt about boys.
I love sports, but some people began to make comments behind my back like, "Oh, he plays sports to touch boys, what a perv." I couldn't get those voices out of my head. I decided I couldn't let anyone's opinion affect how I live my life. Now I'm proud to say I'm on the football and baseball teams.
Many of the people I thought would judge me for being gay still love me and know me as the adorable goofball who lights up a room, and tries to bring smiles to everyone he knows.
I never got the chance to come out. My parents looked through my phone and saw texts from my best friend calling me “son,” and me asking her if she had an extra room I could stay in if I got kicked out. A few months later, my mom got over the fact that she was only going to have to buy one wedding dress. I would call that a win myself, but hey, I’m a guy.
I wanted to be a voice for anyone who needed one. I wanted to talk to the kid in the congregation that might still be in the closet, and let them know I’m a friend. I wanted to help them be brave.
“Unfortunately my guardian didn’t approve sorry”
“Please destroy any pictures you may have taken…It is our opinion that this will do her more harm than help anybody else.”
“Her father is very non-supportive. … I can't fight him on this. It's too much of a risk for me and my daughter.”