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LETTER: What Being Transgender Is Like, Really

The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Peter Corr. Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of WestfordCAT or its Board of Directors. To submit your own letter, e-mail [email protected]

When someone says the word transgender, most people become uncomfortable. Most often they picture a confused adult cross-dressing and not passing for their preferred gender at all, very rarely would you picture someone like me. I’m 17, I’ve known I didn’t identify with the body I was born to since I could understand the concept of gender. All of my baby pictures have my hair cut short and I wear all sorts boys clothing. I was never forced into being a boy, my mother loved me no matter what, but this was always my doing. My transition is and was a very hard thing. I come from a smaller town and everybody knew every nitty gritty detail about what I was doing to my body. I had complete chest reconstruction surgery to remove my breasts and have an average male looking torso. I continued to medically transition by making the choice to undergo HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) by direct injection once a week. Both of these drastically changed my appearance. On hormones, I gained large amounts of muscle, grew significantly, gained the ability to grow a beard and my voice dropped. I looked just as manly as the guy standing next to me. If we played look for the trans kid like where’s Waldo it’s very unlikely you’d pick me out.

I actively live as a male, most people do know about my gender but not all. I use only the men’s bathroom, all my identification says male and my new name. I am not an adult who unfortunately didn’t get to transition until much later in life. I am a teenage boy, who happened to be born a little girl, and there are thousands upon thousands of trans teens like me. Being transgender isn’t the only thing about a person, and a lot of people forget that. Me being transgender only affects my gender. It brings me into a different community and changes my views on some things, but it doesn’t define me. My gender makes me someone who had to fight a little harder to be me. But it’s not what makes me, me. I skateboard and go to the gym and have friends, and none of those are ever really affected by being trans. Gender-related issues change your life, but they aren’t your entire life.

I’m lucky enough to have a family and especially mother who has my back no matter what I do and got me to the point I am today. So next time you picture someone who’s transgender doesn’t just immediately assume we’re all confused adults out to make you uncomfortable. Trans people are people, too.