Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behaviour does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth. There has been so much media coverage about the subject. Everyone seems to have their opinions when they are talking about someone who is transgender. But what if the person they are talking about is you?
Hello Alex, Would you tell me a little about yourself?
I am currently 21 years old, from the USA (New Hampshire, to be exact), and my first name at birth was Elise. I was assigned female at birth.
How long have you felt that you were in the wrong body?
I would say, since I was 14, I felt like the body that I was given was not right for me and looking at it made me severely uncomfortable. Also, I would hate being called by “she/her” and my name at birth because that felt like it wasn’t me.
When did you come out?
I was 19, this was in 2020/2021. I waited until I was completely sure of my decision. I have been out for a year and a few months now.
Who did you tell first?
I came out to my friends in the Band of Brothers community first. They are an online community that support the show Band of Brothers. The community has grown and I have many friends.
What about your parents?
When I came out to my parents, they weren’t completely accepting of me. A year on, they are still wary of using my new name, “Alex”, and “he/him” pronouns and don’t want me to pursue a medical transition. But other than that, things are pretty okay. We have been working on getting them to use my name and pronouns more often. It is a slow process but I think it will be worth it in the end.
What about other family and friends?
I have to admit, I struggle with wanting to come out to my relatives because I am afraid that they won’t accept me and things will be awkward. My parents and older sister are the only people who know about my transition in my family. I do have friends from my university and my wonderful friends from the Band of Brothers community that accept me for who I am.
What medical and psychological support have you had on your journey?
The first thing was to make my formal decision to transition medically. Then I spoke to others about it. I have sourced all the help I can get and done as much research as possible.
I am working with my therapist to get letters to be able to start HRT (hormone replacement therapy). If you do not go through the informed consent route, you need letters from your therapist with a diagnosis of Gender dysphoria (which I have). Then I have to spend time talking to and working with an endocrinologist to start the treatment. I will need regular blood tests to monitor my progress.
As well as that, I did a lot of my own research
What did you research?
I researched about what I would be going through when the time comes for my surgery.
How did your work with your therapist go?
I have explored my gender identity and topics surrounding that with my therapist, such as how to come out to people, dealing with hate, and accepting that I am trans.
Finally realising that I was trans, was something I struggled with. There were still some thoughts and uncomfortable feelings at times at times, but that’s why I am continuing to research and work with my medical team.
Which part of the path are you on right now?
Right now, I have only socially transitioned, which means I have cut my hair, started wearing mens’ clothes, and am going by my new name and pronouns. If I’m honest, I was doing that even before I came out to anyone.
Going on HRT (testosterone) is next on the list for me and I’m working on getting the letter from my therapist, who said I would be cleared for it in the next 6 months.
Top surgery is also going to come but surgery waiting lists could be really long, so it won’t happen right away
Have you experienced any harassment through your journey so far?
I am ‘stealth’, which means I live as a man without telling anyone that I am trans, for my own safety.
What about online harassment?
Online, on Instagram, is unfortunately a whole different ball game. I have been harassed, threatened, and told to leave the Band of Brothers community because I was apparently ‘disrespecting’ the men of Easy Company for being trans.
To be fair, as soon as I came out online, I never felt I fitted into the BoB community anymore, given how much hate I was getting. Eventually it led to me completely leaving and never coming back.
Dealing with your journey online was completely different than expected?
I really expected people to be nicer to me, but unfortunately, I got the complete opposite of that. It ended up getting so bad that I had to turn off all DMs and remove the pride flags from my bio, which is sad, because I am proud of who I am now.
Have you ever doubted your journey?
I only doubted my journey a few times when I first came out, but now I am sure of my decision.
While some of us have different starts in life, we all take different pathways. We never know where our path will take us.
Alex is charting his course. Good luck Alex, and thank you for sharing your story.