The first time I came out as anything was about 7th grade. My best friend texted me saying that he had to tell me something. He wasn’t sure how I was going to react and I might think he’s gross for it. I told him just to tell me, he responded with “I’m gay”. I responded with “me too”. That was the first time I admitted to myself that I liked girls. However, the term lesbian never felt right to me. I knew I only liked girls but I could not figure out why the term that was used for girls who like girls did not feel right for me.
Flash forward about two years and I discovered what the term transgender meant. I started to do more and more research on it and trying to find other people who identified as transgender. I came out to the same best friend as above in 10th grade. He did not care a single bit. He was just happy that I was happy. I slowly started to tell my friends and they all accepted me with open arms. I shaved my head in 11th grade and started to go by Dylan. I knew that my parents would not accept me. I never even told them I liked girls because of the way they spoke about LGBT+ people.
In my senior year of high school, my principal did not like that I was going by Dylan and using he/him pronouns. I had signed up for a practical class where I would go to a first-grade classroom and assist the teacher. The principal called my parents and told them she was concerned about me because I was going by a boy’s name/pronouns and she thought I was mentally unstable. Therefore I was not safe to be around children. This caused me to be kicked out for a week. My mom freaked out. My dad freaked out, and I panicked. My extended family and friends took me in and comforted me during this time, but I was still scared and had no idea what was going to happen. While my relationship with my parents was strained for a very long time, they did let me back in the house and tried to work on having a relationship with me, but they did not understand what it meant to be transgender.
I started testosterone in 2013, had top surgery in 2015, and legally changed my name in 2018. My parents accept me for who I am and after eight years they finally call me Dylan and their son. During those eight years I got two degrees, moved out, and started my career. If anyone would have told the scared kid in 2012 that in eight years, he would be writing this, he wouldn’t have believed you. While my coming out story wasn’t pretty, someone else outed me, and my parents didn’t accept me with open arms, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It has shaped me into the man I am today and has helped me connect with younger LGBT+.