Springfield, IL (1997)
It's hard to believe that the child in this picture was born a girl named Annie.
Because even as a child, I was rather androgynous looking. It wasn't until I hit puberty and began to grow breasts, that I began to look a bit more feminine.
Bi-gender, though. I look back and I'm surprised I didn't realize it earlier.
There are a few memories that speak out to me as I look back.
The first was in middle school when I cut my hair really short. And all the kids called me Andy.
I didn't mind it, and I didn't even bother correcting them. But they began to call me "G.I. Jane," and that's when I got mad.
I once read an article about transgenderism, when I was 14. I remember thinking for a split second "Hmm, that sounds familiar." But I didn't really give it a second thought until many years later. At the time, I wrote my feelings off as just being a masculine girl. But now, I know that was incorrect.
I never really felt quite right as a girl, and I was very tomboyish growing up. I still had my Barbie dolls, but I preferred the male ones. And I loved my Hot Wheels, Model Cars, and Micro Machines more. Somehow even through my love of fishing, camping, and the outdoors, my mom still never got the idea.
When I finally came out as trans, my family didn't seem surprised. But they still refuse to call me the right pronouns or name. I fear that - in their eyes - I'll always be their precious little girl. The only one in my family that seems to remotely get it, is my older brother. He calls me Andy and his "Brosis," which is better than nothing.
As if being trans wasn't enough though, I am also gay/pansexual. I had crushes on lots of guys growing up. I remember my mom always called me "boy-crazy" and I'm still that way to some extent now.
Today, I live in Phoenix, AZ with a dog, a cat, and my girlfriend/roommate.
I have recently connected with a few other trans people in my area, and we try to get together as much as possible. All in all, things are looking up.
My advice to LGBTQ kids now? Never stop believing in yourself!
I know things are scary right now. But remember, they can only get better.
Aiden's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Jonathan Taylor Thomas (in "Tom & Huck")
Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"