“I certainly knew that I was different at a young age and looking back I definitely presented more [like the opposite gender].”
Matt* didn’t know who he was for a period of time in his life.
By the time he actually understood why he was so different and could start to put a word to it, he was about 10 or 11 years old.
“I researched and found out about transgender people and the meaning of being transgender and finally, for the first time in my life, I had a real understanding of who I was,” Matt said.
Coming out wasn’t the easiest of tasks.
The first time he had come out to anyone was to a family member, in hopes that she would understand the situation that they were in.
“We stayed up late and I sat there for two hours trying to tell her and then I finally blurted out, I’m [the opposite gender],” he said.
She just said “I know, I know”.
From that night onwards Matt’s family member helped him come out to the rest of their family.
The high school student made a massive post on social media to tell his school friends, and those other social circles.
They also spoke in person to a close group of friends through a series of smaller conversations.
“I’m not one of those people with a wild coming out story but it’s the beginning, it’s my little wild beginning,” he said.
The high school student has faced many struggles since coming out as transgender.
“Waking up in the ‘wrong body’ is something that kills me daily,” he said.
Some people refuse to call his by the correct pronouns, and others insist that the young person will always be the gender they were born with.
“There are people who are really nice to my face at school, but then behind my back suggesting I’m transgender for attention and I’m not really [the gender I am],” he said.
Mis-gendering happens often.
Sometimes it’s a slip up but other times strangers just look at him and think that he is the other gender.
Occasionally there are rude people who call Matt “it”, “Shim” and sometimes even “tranny”.
Despite the daily struggles, Matt refuses to let things get him down. He uses this to make him a stronger person but that doesn’t mean he is OK.
- If this article raises any questions or concerns for you please call Stepping Out on 62311206.
- Headspace Launceston also provides comprehensive health services for all young people aged between 12-25. Contact them on 6335 3100 for information.
*Name and gender retracted for privacy.