How I Came to Terms with Being Trans
“I think I might be transgender,” I blurted to my mom after a tiring and busy day.
My mom muttered back the words I had just spoken “‘I think I might be transgender…’ I thought you might be gay, but this…” she trailed off disappointedly.
I was heartbroken. I had spent years building towards this moment, and that was her response. Disappointment? I had expected either acceptance or rejection, but disappointment?
Her words stung. It was as though a rapidly expanding hole had opened in my chest leaving me feeling increasingly empty. The state of my mind was not unlike that of a doughnut at bakery. Spinning, empty, and hot with anger.
Yet, still, in that moment, I had an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. This doughnut-like feeling, it was strangely familiar. I remembered feeling this way a few times as a child when told that I must remove my shirt to go swimming.
“But my sister doesn’t have to take off her shirt!” I protested.
“Quit whining,” my mother retorted snappily. “Your sister is a girl. You are a boy.”
Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. Yet, for years, I did not understand why.
Why had the mere words “you are a boy” left such an impact on me? To most children, the acknowledgement of their gender is something they feel complete apathy towards. But to me, this phrase “you are a boy” stuck in my mind for years. It was not until middle school when I realized why.
I was sitting alone in seventh grade art class, when a voice caught my attention.
“Hey [deadname]! Why are you so girly?” the voice jeered. I had no way of knowing how to respond to that, so I remained silent.
“[deadname]-ina?! I’m talking to you!” the voice mocked.
[deadname]- ina. Why did I enjoy that insult so much? I knew that it was meant to make me feel bad, yet all it did was boost my confidence. For the first time, that empty feeling was nowhere to be found. Instead this experience was closer to cotton candy. Light and sweet. However, this joy was fleeting- like when you take a bite out of the sugary fluff and feel it melt away as your lips close around it.
That is why, two years later, when I finally told my mom, “I think I might be transgender,” I was incredibly shocked to hear her disapproval. Her disappointment. The dreadful tone of her voice as she said “you will always be my son.” The cotton candy was replaced by a doughnut, and what’s worse, the doughnut seemed larger than it ever was before.
I never truly ceased feeling like a doughnut. Around my sophomore year, the emptiness grew to a point where it became overwhelming. After coming out, my grades tanked and my friendships began falling apart. I was alone and depressed. However, I can triumphantly say that hitting rock bottom meant that there was no direction to go but up.
I spent years after that trying to chase that immense sense of elation which was so desperately fleeting- that feeling of recognition and comfort. And surprisingly, I found it. I found it in the friends I made, the clubs I joined, and the books I read.
After the negative experience I had with my mother, I began seeing everything else in my life as comparatively more positive. I noticed how accepting my friends were. How fortunate I was to be so safe. How great it was to have a school that supported me when I was knocked down.
I began pouring my heart and soul into everything I did and noticed beauty in even my most negative experiences. That doughnut feeling was still there, but instead of letting it get me down, it became the catalyst for a far brighter future.
My name is Megan Jordan. I am transgender.