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I was 14, I knew I wasn't straight and I took the big step of coming out to my school friends as bisexual. This was slowly followed by coming out to my parents. I thought that would be the end of it. How wrong I was.
After spending a year or so thinking I was settled, I realised that I still didn't feel any different. I still felt like the label I was using to explain how I felt was wrong. I spent a long time thinking about it but eventually, at the age of 17, I came out to my school friends as a lesbian. I stayed feeling this way for ages, never truly understanding why I felt uncomfortable with the terminology. Assuming that everyone just felt that way. I fell into an even deeper state of depression (I had been depressed since hitting puberty) and my self-harm became even worse than it already was and I even tried to kill myself once. I couldn't explain the way I was feeling to anyone. I felt uncomfortable in the way I was identifying and in myself and I didn't know what the answer was.
Eventually, in the September of 2014, I travelled to university. I continued to identify as a lesbian and made plenty of friends; the depression, however, never went away. It was in those first few months of university that things began to change. I dressed how I wanted, no limits of parents being put onto anything anymore. I got into hobbies I'd always wanted to, started going to the gym and building up muscle. It was during this time, just after Christmas, that I came across a video on YouTube. A video made by a person called Ty Turner. A video of one year on testosterone. A transition video. That is where the world opened up. I found other people on YouTube, Alex Bertie, Chase Ross, and everything they talked about hit home to me. They explained everything I had been feeling since puberty. I realised that what I was feeling wasn't normal. That being uncomfortable in my body wasn't how everyone felt and that there was an explanation for it.
Now, realising this was one thing, telling others, now that's a completely different story. I went back to university in my second year and began telling some of my close friends. They were all supportive and I honestly couldn't have wished for a better response. Then came the bigger picture, my parents. I spent a month, writing a letter to them, explaining how I felt, and why this was important to me, I told them my name that I wanted to be called and that I wanted to be he and him and with the help of my friends, I posted that letter.
A response came a few days later, a response that felt mixed. Though my parents were accepting, they didn't want me to tell anyone because they didn't want anyone to know until after Christmas (it was November). Sadly things aren't that simple and word got out. People back home started to find out and my sisters also found out. My parents tried to tie it down and keep it a secret and once Christmas was over they sat me down and a conversation was had. Tears were shed and hearts were exposed as I told them how I'd felt for years and why this was important to me. I felt horrid, I felt like I was putting them through so much and like they didn't deserve to have to put up with me. That night I thought about ending it all again.
By Easter, I was being called the correct name by most people and the pronouns were close behind. Arguments and slip ups have happened but when family is involved, that's a given fact.
It's now August 2017, nearly two years since I sent the letter to my parents. I'm on the long waiting list for a gender clinic appointment (two years). I am taking antidepressants to help until then but there is only so much they can do. I can't afford to go privately for hormone treatment but I'm coping. My family loves me, I have an amazing supportive girlfriend and I should be on hormones by the end of 2018 if all goes to plan.
This is my story. I telling it for all those trans people that haven't come out yet to give them hope. I'm telling it for all the people out there that think trans people are confused to show that would I really go through with this is if I didn't honestly believe it was who I am. And I'm telling it for all the people out there who have had a loved one come out who can't necessarily say how they feel.
I am a transgender man, I am not confused and for once since starting puberty, things are looking up.