trans, later bro.

important events

  • i come out as trans
  • i go back in the closet
  • i move to baltimore
  • i move back to denver
  • i move to seattle
  • i come out as trans
  • i start hrt
  • i detransition
  • i move to the dc area
  • my grandma passes away
  • i move back in with my parents
  • i come out as trans
  • i start hrt

parts of this chapter will overlap with the previous chapter, as this one is solely devoted to me coming out as trans and the issues that i had when i did it. the previous chapter was about me coming out as gay.

by now, i know that my identity isn’t male. i know that my feelings aren’t typical for a gay male. but what i don’t know is what to call it. crossdresser seemed appropriate, but it meant that i was still a guy. that one was out. the word trans had not come into my vocabulary as of yet, but it shortly would.

when i was a kid, i knew i was different. i knew coming out as gay was a bandaid fix for something bigger. i knew that my parents weren’t accepting of trans people, more because of their beliefs and political opinions. i knew i really couldn’t tell my brothers, because of the same reasons at the time.

fast forward to 2015. i’m laying in bed pondering life’s questions. by now, i know the word trans exists and its meaning. really, what i’m doing is wrestling with this issue. i start seeing a counselor. i specifically see a non-lgbtq affirming one because i wanted an impartial party. time goes on, and as i am really bad with therapists, i steer the conversation away from the reason i went there, because i was too afraid to ask the question. at some point, my therapist catches on and asks me what i’m trying to avoid. i advise them that i am pondering my gender identity and sexuality. they advise me that i should likely tell someone before something worse happens. i decide to tell my friend luke first, as he was super supportive of me coming out as gay. one day with extreme nervousness, i invite him over to my apartment. no one else is home. we start talking about sports or the bible or something else that we have a mutual interest in. again, a diversion tactic. the increasing pressure is mounting on me, and i can’t take it anymore. i decide internally that i am going to steer this conversation back to my original purpose. it is in this moment that i say something like ‘luke, i love you as a friend and value your opinion, but there is something i need to tell you.” by now, i have his undivided attention. the next words out of my mouth was the first time that i had told anyone other than my therapist about my little secret. i tell him something along the lines of “i don’t feel like i was born in the right body. i identify as trans mtf, and i’m not sure how you will react to this news”. his response kind of shocked me, due to his religious background. he didn’t treat me any differently, and told me that he still valued our friendship. he also told me to keep on chugging along. it was a few days later that i came out to my roommate as he was asking me why i had been so reclusive lately. he, too, was extremely supportive.

within a few months of this, the adventure of getting kicked out of churches happens. it is at this time that i vow to never set forth in a church. it is also the time when i decide to go back in the closet as more people are finding out and i am not comfortable with it. so, i go back in the closet and act as if it never happened. horrible mistake. by now, i have moved to denver and quite frankly, i am not out to anyone as trans, and it stays this way because i wasn’t ready to do that in a new environment that i wasn’t familiar with. denver was great. amazing place to learn how to be an adult, and learn to live completely on your own . it is within this place that i decide to try a church, because i feel like something is missing. i try this church, a fundamental baptist church. the vibe is a little weird, and i soon find out why. the pastor starts his sermon telling us how gays and trans people are going to hell with no chance of salvation. it is at this time that i get up out of my pew, yell ‘not true’ and get out of there as fast as i possibly can. i got a call from the pastor that day and was asked to never return. can’t say i ever did return.

so, we fast forward a year or so. i’ve moved to baltimore, the city i was born in. the trans thing creeps up again, and i decide to come out to a few people. i came out to my aunt and a random stranger i met at a club. i still wasn’t sure what it meant for me, but my aunt gave me some sound advice. her advice was ‘don’t do anything until you are 100% certain’. i wasn’t. it wasn’t long after that that i moved back to denver. this time with a job at amazon. i finally run into the first trans person i really became friends with. they were very out, very visible, and quickly became one of my good friends. i’m still in the closet, this being the 2nd time having gone back in because i was too scared to commit to coming out and doing anything to help with my goals. i feel like everyone will hate me and no one in my family will support me. truthfully, i haven’t reconciled it with myself because of the religious stigma i knew would happen if i came out.

it’s now about 2018-ish. we are back to this never ending cycle of coming out as trans and going back in the closet. this time, i vow to end this cycle. i am still employed at amazon, but now i am aware of this affinity group called glamazon, the lgbtq employee group at amazon. i start a chapter for the colorado region. i vow to get involved in the community as much as possible, and end up meeting some amazing people who helped me through a few rough patches in my life. by now, i’m a fairly well known person within the glamazon community. i decide to put an end to this coming out and going back in thing. one day on the advice of my therapist to come out to someone, i decide to send an email to my boss and all of amazon letting them know that i am transgender. that i am a male to female person. instead of baby steps, i go full on. this time it worked, well sort of. i decide i’m done with denver, and take a job at amazon in seattle. it is in seattle that i decide to start on hrt, or hormone replacement therapy. i go to the doctor and start on the medication for it. i wasnt cohersed into it, wasn’t forced, and was advised of the effects. i agree with the terms and start.

it’s now 2019. i’m still in seattle, and living near kirkland. my commute is well over an hour to work, and i am not super happy with this. i return to denver for 2-3 weeks in january, and return to seattle in febuary. by now this weird disease is affecting this nursing home in kirkland. we don’t know anything about it other than it is very deadly for elderly people. fast forward a few weeks. we all go on lockdown, and are unable to leave the house as everything is shut down. by now, i am still at amazon in a warehouse, being an essential worker. i apply for a transportation and logistics position at a warehouse, interview for it, and ultimately get the job. covid is in full swing, and i move to my new location. by now, i’ve been on hrt for about a year or so. except i’m in a new location, in a new city, with no knowledge of decent primary care providers. i can’t get a doctors appointment to refill my medications for several months, and personally decide to stop taking them.

fast forward to august of 2019. my time at amazon has come to an end, because of the health risks that covid was posing to me. i decide to move back east, as my grandmother is elderly and needs someone to help take care of her. i move in with her. she is very conservative in her beliefs and political discussions, but i know that i eventually want to start back on hrt. i find a doctors office that is very lgbtq supportive and affirming. i make them my primary care. i know that i can’t start hrt because i’m not trying to give my elderly grandmother a heart attack. let’s fast forward to june of 2022. my grandma’s health is rapidly declining, and she ends up passing. her last words to me were ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’. those words were not anything she had ever mentioned to me, as she was not a very sentimental person towards me. very kind, very sweet, and absolutely loved cooking for me, yes. but she didn’t thank me for the things i did for her around the house. it was implied. she never knew about me. after she passed, i moved back in with my parents in bedford county va.

fast forward to november of 2022. i have another episode of mental distress and breakdown. this time instead of bottling it in and not doing anything about it, i know what i need to do. even though i’m still not out to my parents, i needed to do something or i was going to do something else. i make a doctors appointment. i talk to my doctor, who by now has an idea that i might be trans. i come out to him. he asks me what i want to do about it. we go over my options. i decided to start back on hrt. i wasn’t forced into it, i wasn’t cohersed into it, nor was i expected to do it. he simply advised me of the side effects and i signed on the paper that stated i had read them, and he answered some of my questions.

it is thanksgiving day. i can’t sleep, and neither can my sister in law. we are up watching a movie on the couch. she can tell there is something on my mind, and asks me what’s up. i advise her that there’s something on my mind and i need to tell someone before i go insane. she asks what it is, and i advise her that i am not a binary human. that i identify as a trans person. i’m unsure what her response is going to be. she responds after what seems to be an eternity, and advises me that she is supportive of me, even though she doesn’t understand it. we hug, go to bed, and don’t mention it again.

it’s now sometime in december. by now my sister in law knows. my brothers are unaware of it. i call my middle brother, and advise him that i identify as trans. he doesn’t agree with it, but supports me nonetheless. i send a text to the other brother coming out to him. he advises that we will talk about it in a week when he is back in from california. we end up not talking about it, but he called me a few weeks later advising me that he supports me. i also come out to a friend who at the time was also questioning his gender identity. we have a long conversation about it, and both agree that they are likely trans.

come christmas eve, i have another epiphany. by now i’ve read most of the books about lgbtqia and the bible. i read torn again. i realized something was missing in my life. i do a soul searching to see what was missing. god tells me on christmas eve to go to church. i didn’t know the first thing about churches in virginia anymore. i just knew it couldn’t be a church that i would not be accepted and affirmed at. i wasn’t going down that rabbit hole again. so i google “lgbtq accepting churches near me.” i found an united methodist church. i went. i found a congregation there that seemingly accepted me for me. the pastor there and i got to talking, and we both realized that it wasn’t sustainable to drive 1.5 hours on sunday to attend church. i get connected with a methodist church near my parents house. the one i went to scouts in. i knew of this church. not much about it other than the occasional scouting sunday. the pastor responded to the forwarded email inviting me to church. i didn’t see a “welcoming and affirming” statement on the website. i was still very skeptical, due to past experiences with churches in the area. i went. that first sunday i was nervous, as most are in a new place, finding your fit and the like. i was nervous that i wouldn’t be accepted as myself. that first sunday there was something that surprised me. something that i wasn’t expecting at all. it was a warm welcome. it was as if i was meant to be there. people knew my name. people talked to me. people made me feel at home. then i went to lunch with the pastor. we talked about my previous experiences with church. we talked about what i thought was the big elephant in the room. it was at that moment that i knew i was where i was meant to be. god had chosen heritage as my church family.

by now, april of 2023, i have been on hrt for a number of months. i am finally out to everyone except my parents. my only living grandmother knows and supports me. my cousins all support me. my friends all support me. my pastor supports me and loves me with unconditional arms. my church accepts me for me.

things do get better. things get much better. it might take some work, but being your true authentic self will always make you feel better about yourself.

if you need help, please seek help out. if you need a faith community, check out church clarity here: please tell a friend, your therapist, someone who truly cares about you.

it is with this that i close this chapter. the enlightening part of my story is over. i’m out to almost everyone except for my parents. it wasn’t an easy process, but luckily i didn’t lose friends during it. in fact, i gained greater friendships than i could have ever imagined. i feel safe in places that i never thought i would feel safe in. best of all, i can be myself.

stay tuned for the next chapter. i’m not sure what it will be, or when it’ll be written, but you can probably assume it has to do with something in my life.

thanks for reading my story, i appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. i do apologize if any of the dates seem to overlap, but i have blocked out most of my 20s due to the shitty experiences i had.

thanks for coming to my ted talk.


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