The Transition: Sharing their stories

The Transition: Sharing their stories

Senior Calvin Baker has had to deal with being “different” his entire life, but he took a long time to understand why. 

“I couldn’t tell if I was queer which felt right but didn’t change the discomfort I had with myself,” Calvin said.

Since Calvin is both queer and transgendered, he has had to face several obstacles along the way. The first obstacle was feeling jealous of not being included in his brother’s sports and couldn’t really place a finger on the reason. 

Nothing felt normal and he was experiencing body dysmorphia. 

Soon after learning the definition of transgender and queer, he realized he was both. The next obstacle to overcome was telling his parents. 

“I could never work up the confidence so instead I texted my parents in a group chat at the time. My sister already knew,” Calvin said.

His fears proved unfounded and his immediate family was supportive and open-minded. Even though they didn’t comprehend what Calvin was going through, they tried their best to be informed. His mother went to a support group to talk through and understand her son’s identity and the struggles he faces.

His mother became a foundation of understanding. She encouraged Calvin to come out to his extended family through a letter detailing what Calvin was going through and how he identified. Even though not everyone was supportive, he felt it was the right thing to do.

“After the letter, I received positive phone calls and texts,” Calvin said.

 As for his friends, little changed — his new name and his preferred pronouns. Most of his friends are queer and understand his transformation.

Throughout high school, Calvin has learned more about himself and his identity. He wakes up most mornings and not even realizing he’s different unless someone accidentally uses his dead name or misgenders him. 

Calvin has found he is much happier as a trans male and queer individual.

“Coming out has made me learn that it feels good to be myself and not have to hide and be something that I am not,” Calvin said.

Not all trans journeys are the same. Unlike Calvin, Kai’s journey has not followed a proverbial straight line. 

One major obstacle for friends, family, and peers deals with pronouns. Kai does not use him or her to refer to themself. Kai uses they, them and their. 

During the eighth grade, Kai realized after years of feeling different they discovered they were non-binary. After years of feeling confused about their gender identity, Kai discovered they were more than a boy or a girl.

As Kai was discovering themself, they had to deal with the struggle of vocalizing their new identity and their feelings for that matter. In the beginning, the process of coming out was quite difficult as they didn’t know if they were going to be accepted.

“They didn’t know what I was going through, it made it a lot harder to believe and validate my own feelings and experiences,” Kai said.

During the process of coming out, Kai found it quite difficult to come out to their family. Kai didn’t find much support within their family because their family didn’t understand what they were going through.

Kai never officially came out to their parents however Kai’s parents found out as they had found chest binders in Kai’s room. Kai was hesitant about informing their parents of their identity as they knew their parents could never understand.

“My family found out by finding my chest binder, and weren’t very accepting at all, they think I’m nuts,” Kai said.

Even with the disapproval of Kai’s parents, they found much support and comfort within their friend group. At first, their friends were confused and had questions. In time, they became an incredible support group.

“They wanted to learn more so they could make me feel safe,” Kai said. 

Even throughout the struggle of not being supported by their parents, they have found that it’s much easier to have come out. During Kai’s Journey, they have had to deal with several obstacles of being accepted, however, throughout their friends’ support and finding out more about themselves it has all become much easier.

“I came to terms with it because although it’s rough, and it sucks, to not be accepted, at the end of the day, the most important person who can validate you is yourself,” Kai said.

Validation is also important for the journey from male to female. 

Since seventh grade, Grace Grabner has been a trans female. Now, Grace is a junior and she has been open with being trans and vocal about her transition for three years. Within her time discovering herself and her gender identity she has gone through several hurdles. 

Luckily for Grace, she has had a great support system since day one. When she was coming to terms with her identity, she found it quite difficult to find yourself. At first, she just thought she was a feminine boy.

“I was always extremely feminine and at first I just thought I was gay,” Grace said.

Since coming out she has slowly learned who she is. Even though she isn’t quite sure who she is fully she finds it a lot easier after realizing how she identifies. In the beginning, it was quite stressful for Grace because she had to come to terms with her new identity and had to figure out how to express that. 

One of the hurdles she had to jump was coming out to her family. Coming out to family members is one of the biggest struggles for Trans Youth and luckily for Grace, her mother was a rock of reliability.

My mother’s side of the family was extremely supportive and kind to me. Some of them already knew that I wasn’t like every other teenager and that was amazing,” Grace said.

Even though her father is still growing to be comfortable with Grace’s identity she has found a very great support system within her family. As Grace has younger siblings explaining her new identity was quite confusing for them at first, now they just refer to her as “sis” and “Grace.”

“The most rewarding thing is when I visit them and my little siblings run up to me and say, ‘Hi Grace’ or ‘Hi Sissy.'” Grace said. “It makes the wait that I had to go through worth it.”

The school has also been quite difficult to handle during her transition. Not everyone is understanding however she finds that she truly has found her friends because of her transition. 

She finds that people who are kind to her and support her or her true friends. Grace has learned that it’s just part of the process and she is glad she knows who her true friends are.

As she has been discovering her friends she has also been discovering herself. Grace learning more and more about herself due to her identity and appreciates the journey of it all.

“I just find it a beautiful process that is unique to me,” Grace said.

As Grace goes through her transition and her journey, she is learning new things about herself and the people that surround her. Most people in her grade know of her transition and some have been there every step of the way.

She’s finding life is much more comfortable and unique since she came out. Grace is excited for what’s to come and is so grateful for the journey leading up to this point.

“My life in years to come will probably continue with the growing process and I will learn more about myself and other members of my community and the LGBT community,” Grace said.