First of all, not everyone’s coming out story is the same. For me, it was fairly easy. Don’t get me wrong, it was incredibly nervewracking, and every second of it I was scared out of my mind of their reaction, but in the end, I was glad I did it.
Not everybody realizes they’re different when they’re little. Some realize it when they’re in their teens, or even older. But just so you know, there’s no race or time limit to coming out. Just do whatever’s comfortable for you. If that’s never coming out, then that’s what’s best for you. If that’s coming out when you’re twelve, like I did, then that’s what’s best for you.
When I was little I was, no doubt, my parents’ little girl. I loved pink, and dresses, and everything “feminine”. But when I started getting older, I started to drift away from the pink, dresses, and braids and started leaning towards wearing basketball shorts, and baggy sweatshirts every day. I still had my long, curly, red hair hanging out of my baseball cap though, so people still called me a girl. I remained my parents’ little girl… for the most part.
I started playing flag football on an all-boys team and hanging out with more boys than girls. I’d dressed that way all up until the summer before seventh grade. When I was in sixth grade, my first year in middle school, people started giving me looks, and they’d tell me all these hurtful things about the way I dressed, and how I should act and dress more feminine. So I took those comments to heart, and just before seventh grade started, I went shopping and bought all new, all girls clothes.
For a little while, I liked it. People stopped saying mean things to me, and I thought life would go on. But I couldn’t ignore the constant image and thought in my head, that I was a boy. That’s when I’d first heard about the LGBT+ community. I heard the word ‘transgender’ for the first time, and it suddenly clicked. “I am transgender”.
First, I decided it was time to come out to my family. I wrote my parents a letter telling them I was transgender. They took it very well and told me that they’d love and support me no matter what. Then I told my siblings. I told them straight up, or should I say gay up, that I was trans, and that they should use male pronouns and Max when referring to me. They were very nice about it. They still call me my birth name, but they’re getting there. I am so grateful that I have such a loving and accepting family.
Then it was time to come out to my friends. I posted on Snapchat that I was trans and that everyone should call me Max from then on. I went to school the next day and everyone was super supportive of it, and surprisingly, I’ve only ever heard one person say one thing that wasn’t supportive to me.
Then it was time to come out to my teachers. My best friend and I went up to all of my teachers and explained to them that I was trans and that they should call me Max from then on, and they were all very supportive. Some took a little while, but they all ended up calling me Max.
Finally, it was time. It was time for a haircut. Since my hair had caused me major amounts of dysphoria*, I knew I had to do it. I was super nervous sitting in that chair, wondering whether it was the right decision to cut it off, but after about ten minutes of contemplating, I’d decided. It was time. They donated fourteen inches of my curly, red hair. And I’d just sat there… beaming. I could finally look in the mirror and see the person I’d envisioned in my head for so long.
I continue to change, and I’m still questioning myself, and my gender identity, but I’m very happy with the choices I’ve made in my life, bringing me closer to the person I dream of being. Every day I’m one step closer to becoming that person, and I’m lucky. Lucky to have everything, and everyone that I have and that love and accept me. And you deserve the same.
*dysphoria: the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity does not match up with one’s biological sex