For the longest time, I’ve always felt different and I could never pin point the reason behind this feeling. Whenever I was in a group of kids growing up I always felt like an outsider even though I had friends and socialized; something inside of me was “off.” I thought that I felt different because I had different goals and aspirations than most of my peers in my southern (largely redneck) hometown. But in my junior year of high school, I came to realize that I was gay. Once I came to terms with this fact and told my parents, I patted myself on the back feeling like I had identified my difference. But the empty and distant feeling soon came back.
Now, as I sit here in 2017, nearly two years after I came out as gay, I came out as transgender non-binary. After searching for the past year to figure out how I identify, I finally came across these words, put them together and became content. This is what made me different than other kids. This is what I had been searching for since feeling that feeling of void when I was younger.
After telling my parents, I felt instant relief. Tension that had been sitting in my shoulders for months was released. The darkness I had been living in since 2016 disappeared. Even though it’s only been a few days since I told them, I feel free. I can finally express myself how I want and I can move forward towards my transition. I had been so scared to tell them. I built up awful scenarios in my head because I wanted to be prepared for the worst. Telling them had been a fear of mine for months and once I did I felt like the chains and ropes holding me back fell to the ground and I stepped out of the darkness.
Now that I’ve told my parents, I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s reactions. I’ve already told my friends and my girlfriend, so now I can focus solely on myself. This is easier said than done since my entire life I have been putting others first. I’m excited to fully get to know myself on a deeper level and to learn what I want in all aspects of life. I can’t wait to fully present as my true authentic self to everyone, which is something that I never dreamed that I’d be able to do.
I am the happiest I have been in my entire life if we’re being honest. I feel genuinely optimistic about my future and what’s to come. I feel motivated to chase my goals which drastically differs from my attitude just months earlier; my future goals used to paralyze me with fear that I didn’t even want to try to reach them. For example, I want to transfer to a different university and the thought used to overwhelm me; I have to apply to a lot scholarships, get my GPA up, find $75 to pay the application fee, etc. But now, I’m running full speed towards this. I don’t feel overwhelmed with scholarships or immense stress from trying to get the highest grades, I feel determined as fuck.
For once in my life I feel fearless and happy. I’ve never felt these two feelings, let alone both of them together. I’ve never experienced fearlessness, only the act of being young and naïve. I’ve only ever experienced momentary happiness. This is not to say that I don’t still have daily struggles because I do. But each day is easier to tackle because of the weightlessness I feel.
I’ve been surrounded by darkness for so long that now that I’ve found the light, I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m no longer singing along to sad songs but rather pick-me-up tunes. I’m taking it day by day, hour by hour. I set daily goals, including one thing I can do to get closer to achieving my goal of transferring. I’m in the process of creating a vision board to remind myself what I’m working towards both short term and long term goals.
If you’re consumed by your darkness, I promise you the light is just around the corner. I know everyone says that but I genuinely guarantee that you’re almost at the light. The fight will be hard but it’ll be worth it. I have stood exactly where you; I believed the light would never come, but it did. Even if you don’t believe in yourself at the moment, I believe in you. I want you to hold onto that.
So here’s to fighting our demons and the darkness that comes with them and to chasing our light.
Until next time,