With the Texas Legislative Session and Special Session over, our transgender and gender non-binary youth are breathing a sigh of relief. But their stories show there's still a lot of work to be done.
“Passing for me is 50/50. It’s still pretty hard for me to this day to feel like a woman but I don’t want to feel like a woman. I want to feel like a trans woman, a proud black trans woman. I feel like I have to go over all these obstacles just to be a black trans woman and come to accept myself.”
“My family, I think they’re okay with the gay subject but when it’s trans, I don’t think they get it. Some of them still refer to me as 'he,' but they’re starting to get it more in this day and age because we’re progressing. Back then, they were not okay with it.”
“I am actually trans, I identify as male. Mom is still dealing with it. She is calling me by my name now. The pronouns are still difficult but I’m happy that progress is being made. I’m hoping there will continue to be progress in my direct family.”
“The worker behind the desk was like, 'wait you’re trans?' and it was like the best moment in my life. Actually someone not knowing I was trans and being able to pass as a guy in there, just the best day of my life. I felt so validated.”
“I was always made fun of because I have a more boyish looking jawline, so when I was younger I looked exactly like my father instead of my mother. People would call me 'it' and 'he' and stuff like that. After awhile, I realized that it never bothered me because I always wore boys' clothes anyway and I felt like that’s who I really was anyway.”
“I came out when I was 15 years old and it was horrible. I got beaten up by my family and I got sent to a Christian hospital for reconditioning.”
“I have really early memories of not feeling like a girl, as far back as kindergarten or first grade but I didn’t have the words to put to how I felt so I kind of just repressed it for a long time. And then, I came out as a trans person about a year ago, maybe a little more.
"I originally came out here at Out Youth so obviously everyone was super supportive and accepting and immediately got everything right, which was really cool. I’m still not out to my former classmates cause I’m going to a different school now, so they never knew which is great because they were not accepting at all.”
“I would get death threats pretty frequently, a lot of really offensive names and comments every day. I could not go to school without hearing at least a few derogatory names or comments or things that were even worse than that. I became suicidal last year because of all this so just coming to terms with everything and being okay with myself and coming to terms with my identity was probably the hardest part.”
“I would say life is short so you might as well live your authentic self. I guess for someone in my position who has just come out, it’s really cliché but things do eventually get better and you will have a lot of issues and trials and tribulations and things that are not so great, but in the end it’s worth being who you really are because that’s what going to make you fulfilled at the end of your life."
“If you’re a parent of a trans kid who wants or needs to go on blockers or testosterone or estrogen, don’t just stagnate. Don’t refuse to open your mind. I know you think you have your child’s best interest at heart, but speaking as one of those children, it does not feel that way to them, most likely and they’re probably having a really bad time.”
“I’ve never used the men’s room at my high school. The only place I’ve used the men’s room is at the Unitarian church where my mom works and they have a sign there that says ‘Please feel free to use the bathroom you identify with.’ It feels comfortable. Like nobody’s going to have a problem with me. It’s just nice to know.”
“I think the best experience of being trans is when I’m with my friends because they’re all trans also so I don’t really have to explain myself. We just understand each other.”
“I have what I call a label horde. I just have this long list of labels that kinda fit me. I identify as all of them because gender is confusing and mine is vague. I’m still not 100% sure about anything. My journey has been going through and realizing that I don’t really need a super well known label for it.”
“My mom’s into child psychology and raising kids in a natural accepting environment. The same as religion. My parents read me children’s books about gay couples. They were just open about everything. If we had any questions about anything, they wouldn’t hide it. We were taught sex ed pretty young. If we asked any questions, my parents would just tell us. It wasn’t specifically that they wanted to raise us gender neutral; it was just part of how they wanted to raise us.”
“Without that exploration you may never realize how happy you might be with the pronouns you feel comfortable with, or dressing the way you want, or even transitioning in the way you want. For me, my body doesn’t give me dysphoria; I have gender euphoria. A lot of people might not see how much happier they could be if they went through the exploration.”
"When I see a gender-neutral bathroom it makes me feel so much better.
But I think if there was just a ‘Hey, I identify as this, I just want to pee’ bathroom that would be good.”
“I think just getting people to switch the pronouns in their brain and getting people to understand that I am not a female. Yeah, that’s been kind of hard getting people to switch, but I think it’s better to meet new people so you can be like 'Hey...they/them.' And so the people who haven’t known me my whole life don’t have to switch.”
"They’ve been trying to use the right name and the right pronouns. And it’s still hard for some of them, well especially one of my friends who keeps saying my birth name. I mean, he tries. It’s hard when you’ve known someone for so many years of your life and then suddenly they go, 'Hey, I’m changing my name.'”