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25 Life Lessons I Learned in 25 Years as a Trans Man

  1. Trans FlagSome people WILL actually accept you.
    • I don’t have to write, “There are people in life who won’t accept you” because you already know that. There’s a lot of risk to coming out. Your relationships, career and life itself is in potential danger when you come out as transgender. It’s tempting to just stay closeted so that you don’t have to worry about losing your closest relationships. I can’t promise you that everyone in your life is going to be accepting—how can I? But I can promise you that at least one person in your life WILL accept you for who you are, even if you haven’t met them yet. Come out to that person. Screw everyone else.
  2. Learn your triggers.
    • When I was a teenager, the word “trigger” was only used in the mentally ill community. It was for kids in mental hospitals who didn’t feel like doing their homework. When I say, “trigger” as it pertains to the trans community, I don’t mean just trigger words like the t-slur or being deadnamed. I also mean that you need to learn your limits. What specific words, phrases, TV shows or situations make you dysphoric, angry or afraid? The sooner you map these out, the greater chance you have at avoiding them. To be honest, I’m still figuring these out.
  3. Not being “trans enough” isn’t a thing.
    • Wrap your head around the fact that it’s mostly cis people who will tell you that you’re not “trans enough,” so, that should make it pretty easy to ignore. In all seriousness, it doesn’t matter if you’re not passing, don’t adhere to gender norms or aren’t on hormones. You are valid.
  4. Help the people who are in worse situations than you.
    • In the past year that I’ve been out, I’ve met trans folk whose families don’t accept them. I’ve met those who are homeless and even one trans woman who escaped human trafficking. I’ve decided to offer up my home to these people through the Transgender Assistance Program of Virginia as a way to give back to my community.
  5. Read more: 25 Life Lessons I Learned in 25 Years as a Trans Man

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