It Isn’t Easy


HHS Student, Gr.9

Being  young and transgender isn’t easy. 

The first time I learned about what it meant to be transgender was when I was in 6th grade. One of my friends had told me about their situation and I was confused. He transitioned from female to male and it was a new concept for 11 year old me to understand. 

We were hanging out after school one day and he asked if he could talk about something serious. I was fiddling with my fingers, nervous of what he wanted to tell me.

“I’m a boy.” he said.

“What?” I questioned making a weird face.

“I’m a boy.” he repeated, but this time with tears

I was so confused about why he was crying but I tried my best to comfort him. 

Once he calmed down a bit I asked him what he meant. 

“It’s like I’m in the wrong body and that I’m just pretending to be a girl.”

I didn’t really understand what he meant at the time but now that I look back at it, I know exactly how he felt.

Throughout the school year I did my own research on the Lgbtq+ community so that I could support my friends and those around me more. My friend also educated me and told me more about his experiences. He said that anyone can feel like this at any time, not just at a young age. I’ve always had  a “tomboy” kind of style. I never wore skirts or dresses because I hated the way I looked and felt while wearing them. 

Though, one day I just kept staring at myself in the mirror and all I felt was discomfort. I hated my voice, my hair, my chest, I wanted to be a different person. I told my friend about how I was feeling and he said that he’s felt like this too. He told me about getting a binder which is like an undershirt but it makes your chest flatter. My mom was the only person who could buy it for me since I had no money but when I saw all these videos of other kids like me coming out to their parents and they weren’t accepting of their kids, it made me not wanna tell her. So, to hide my chest I would slouch a lot and wear baggy clothing. 

I asked my mom if I could get a pixie cut but she didn’t approve and that led me to cutting it myself. I cut it to about shoulder length so that she wouldn’t get too angry with me. 

It’s just hair, it grows back so I didn’t see a problem with it. After a few more snips I stared at myself in the mirror again. I felt better about my appearance but was very guilty about going against my mom. I felt my throat tighten and I started crying. My mom heard me and opened the bathroom door. She saw my hair on the sink and on the floor. She looked at me with a shocked expression. I thought she was going to yell at me or something but instead she said that I looked cute and told me not to worry about it. She probably knew that I was going to cut my hair anyways from past events where I would go behind the couch and cut my hair. The next few days everyone at school kept asking about my hair and why I had cut it. I didn’t know what to say to them so all I did was shrug and say “I just felt like it.” 

Again, I find myself staring at the mirror. I hated being perceived as a girl. I was still too feminine. I tried to lower my voice but it just sounded unnatural and forced. I looked up videos on how to lower my voice and I learned about something called testosterone. It’s a hormone that can lower your voice range and make you appear more masculine. Once I saw that you had to get it prescribed by a doctor I felt like I had lost all of my chances because I struggle with talking to people and I always look to my parents for answers but this was something they wouldn’t quite understand. 

There were, and still are, many hard days where I just breakdown and question myself. I think very low of myself when I’m sensitive and vulnerable and then it sticks with me for a while. One night I finally got myself to talk to my mom about how I was I’m feeling. 

“What’s going on with you?” she asked before I even said anything.

“Nothing?” I was rethinking whether or not I was really ready to tell her.

I could feel that same feeling in my throat like I was choking. Tears started to fill my eyes, blurring my vision.

“I don’t want to be a girl.” I said, which made making me me feel more emotional because I didn’t know how to explain to make her understand.

“But you’re a girl? You were born a girl.” She said confused 

I was so frustrated. I wish she could look into my thoughts and understand but that is unrealistic. She couldn’t understand anything I was saying through my crying so she let me calm down and catch my breath. My throat still felt tight but I tried to talk.

“I want to be a boy,  I don’t want to be a girl.” 

“But you were born a girl. I felt the same way when I was your age.”

“This is something different, you don’t understand.” I said, tears started forming again.

I tried so hard to help her understand but the amount of discomfort I feel in my own body is something I can’t put into words. 

I attempted to speak again hoping I could think of the right words. I told her what my friend had told me in 6th grade. 

“It’s like I’m in the wrong body and that I’m just pretending to be a girl.” 

I told her that I don’t feel supported and that I know they don’t want me to be like this.

I was terrified of what she would say but because she could see how much it had affected me, she was calm and tried to make sense of what information I gave her. 

She told me that just because she doesn’t understand it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t support me. She wants me to be healthy and have a good life and it doesn’t matter what gender I want to be or identify as because I have worse things to worry about. Trying to get everyone to support me is something that is unrealistic and there will always be people who try to tell me their opinions but as long as I know who I am and what I am worth, they won’t affect me. There will always be some hard days and it’s okay to cry and break down but you have to learn and grow so that you can be a stronger and better person. She told me to look at everyday as a new day, if I mess up today then I have another chance tomorrow. 

After that, I felt more comfortable talking to her about how I’m feeling and she is still learning as well. I try not to worry about my identity too much because I’m only 14 and my gender should be the least of my worries because as long as I know myself and who is supportive of me I’ll be just fine.