An unedited excerpt from by upcoming book—Dysphoria Diaries—coming April 2030.
My second coming out
I don’t think any lgbtq+ person would enjoy coming out twice. I know that some have, but I never in a million years would think that I would be the one coming out again. When I came out as a bisexual person, my personal style was evolving; at that time I wanted to wear a mixture of both “men’s” and “women’s” clothing. I wanted my style to be gender neutral. I wanted to have faux dreadlocks, and I wanted to wear them in a messy bun all the time. I wanted to wear makeup, and I wanted to have acrylic nails. At the time, I came to terms with this. I had plans on getting all of this eventually. But when I came out as bisexual, I didn’t tell my mom all of this, I felt like coming out as bisexual was enough “disappointment” for the day. So I just knew that coming out as non-binary was gonna be hard.
The thought of coming out dawned on me every day. This was obviously due to the fact that I have gender dysphoria that I suffer with every day, and the way to alleviate this dysphoria was with hormones, and the only way for an underage person to receive this was through? You guessed it, a parent or guardian.
That wasn’t the only reason I wanted to come out though. I also wanted to come out because of what I wanted to wear. As I said before, my style has evolved since 9th grade. I went from wanting a mixture of men’s and women’s clothing, to wanting 100 percent women’s clothing. I also went from being somewhat okay with identifying as a guy, to completely hating being called a man, a boy, or a guy. I hate when someone addresses me with the pronouns that are assigned to males. All of these are the reasons why I knew that I had to come out. It’s not like I’m a trans person who doesn’t have dysphoria (which I’m still confused on), I’m a transgender person that struggles badly with dysphoria. It’s so bad that it’s literally the first thing that I think of when I wake up in the morning. I wake up and something in me tells me that I don’t have breast, or that I don’t have the body of a women that I’ve desired so badly since 7th grade. Something tells me that I don’t have the feminine face that I’ve wanted since 9th grade, when my face started to become defined as puberty took affect. All of this is why I felt the need to come out.
Although I knew all of this, I was still scared. I’m pretty sure every lgbtq+ person is scared of coming out. I didn’t want to disappoint her. Even though I remembered that short, late night conversation we had about my gender identity and how I identified, I was still scared that she wouldn’t understand. I was also scared that she wouldn’t think my gender, or my lack of gender, is real. It’s not like I was coming out as a “full” binary, transgender women. I was coming out as a non-binary person, something that people discredit a lot. I still don’t know how it works. I knew that I wanted to come out before the end of the school year. It was a week before school ended, and I knew that I was gonna come out that day. I got in the class, extremely nervous about the whole thing. My plan was to take a picture of all the gender identities, both binary and non-binary, and send them to her and explain what mine was. I knew that I needed my bestie in the class to support me in this crazy moment. As soon as she came in, I told her what was going down. I took a screenshot of the gender identities and their definitions, and I took it to the message, I uploaded the photo, and I typed out a long paragraph explaining that I was non-binary. I explained what being non-binary means. I told her that I was struggling with gender dysphoria and that I wanted to take hormones, and I asked her to call our primary care doctor and see about medically transitioning. I typed all of this, and had it sitting there. I let my bestie proofread it, and I wanted to send it, but I knew that as soon as I sent it, everything would be over. I think my friend was like, “Just send it.”
I couldn’t bring myself to it. After a few minutes she was like:
“Do you want me to send it?”
And I was like:
“Do what you want.”
I wanted her to do it, but I was really nervous.
She was like:
And then she did it. She pressed the button.
I was so scared I think I was shaking. I was trying to keep my composure while we were in this class. We tried to keep conversation while we waited for a reply. I think that after about 10 minutes, she responded. My friend saw the notification first.
I opened my phone and checked the messages, and lucky for me, the response was so positive. My friend and I read it. My friend told me that she was gonna cry because of my mother's positive reaction. My mom told me that she loves me. She asked me how I identified, and she told me that she will always love me and support me, and she told me that she will make an appointment with doctor Singhe as soon as she can. I was so happy. I couldn’t believe that I worried so much. I told my other friend and he told his friend, and that friend congratulated me. For some reason, I was extremely nervous about coming home that day. I was nervous about what could happen. Even a conversation about it with her was making me nervous. When I came out as bisexual, we didn’t talk about it. This is totally different because I’m starting hormones and I’m going to be presenting fully as female, and so that’s not something that we can ignore. It’s still something that I worry about. When I got home, we didn’t talk about it. She didn’t say anything. I don’t think she said anything about it until a couple days later. We still don’t really talk about it, and when we do, it’s in private. I don’t want this to be a taboo topic that we barely talk about. I say this because being quiet about this won’t help when I start taking hormones. We can’t be “hush hush” about me wearing women’s clothing. She may be doing this because she wants to respect my privacy, and I’m thankful for that, but we can’t keep this a secret. Then again, I don’t know how I would feel if we all sat down and I was put on blast like that. This is still all so confusing. Nonetheless, I’m still extremely grateful for my friend for sending that paragraph. I love you Hanna. I’m also extremely grateful for my mom, who has pushed passed the traditional teaching of her family and church and has become one of the biggest allies I know.