Youth Perspective on Transgender Visibility
This year on Transgender Day of Visibility we are highlighting the thoughts and feelings of a transgender youth receiving our services, based on her personal experience and perspective.
When asked about her experience, the youth said that she is just like everyone else. “I just feel like a normal person,” she said. “I’m no different than anyone else.”
“It was hard at first,” she confessed. She felt depressed and only had a few people that she felt she could talk to. She said that her perspective changed after widening her circle and going to a pride parade. “I realized that the group of haters was really small.” Later when she went to a mall, she realized the same thing again. “People were really nice to me. The world may be an ugly place,” she continued, “but it’s just as beautiful as it is ugly.”
She said that in her experience, it’s best to just be you – regardless of how cheesy that sounds. “There are going to be people who don’t accept you,” she said, and that’s okay. “You are entitled to your opinions. I don’t care as long as you don’t hurt anyone,” she further explained. “One person is not meant to be liked by everyone.”
She said that she feels seen as who she is when people respect her and use the correct pronouns when referring to her, but admitted that sometimes people who accidently get her pronouns wrong are too hard on themselves. “I mean, we just met,” she clarified. “How would they know?”
When it comes to finding people who are safe and will support you, she said, “you can’t judge based on looks.” According to the youth, the best way to tell if someone is safe to openly talk to is to watch how they react to things and she gave the example of correcting someone if they use the wrong pronouns. She stated that if she did correct someone on her pronouns and they reacted negatively, she would go on her merry way. Based on their reaction, she would know that person was not the safest for her to be open with.
Her advice is to not push away the people that care about you and to treat people like the human beings that they are. “We are both human beings. Just treat me like a human being and I will treat you like a human being.”