Hampshire, England (1997)
This is me and my little sister, back when I was a young girl named Naomi.
I was always a bit of a tomboy and always asked to have short hair, which Mum was reluctant to let me do. Unfortunately, she was proven right, as when I started Junior High, I was forced to grow it again, due to relentless bullying.
I fit in well with my younger brothers. But as I grew up, I started realizing that maybe I was the odd one out. I hated puberty and felt completely alienated from everyone around me, particularly as I went to an all-girls' school.
I'd heard of lesbians being different, so I tried looking at girls. But they still didn't interest me, so I gave up.
I first hear the word "transgender" in college, as a friend I made there was transitioning from male to female.
And right away it made sense, even though I was scared to admit it to anyone. When I finally told my parents, they'd been expecting it for a while, although they still weren't happy about it.
I had a few bad reactions from friends too, particularly my then-boyfriend who caused me to end up in the hospital for a day. But on the whole, it went OK.
Today, I've just finished my 2nd year of a 3-year university degree. I've been on testosterone for over a year, and I'm preparing for top surgery soon. My family and friends are supportive, and I'm much more comfortable with who I am.
One troubling comment I got back then was:
"Why can't you just be a straight girl? It would be so much easier."
So to any other gay or transgender people out there, I'd say to believe in yourself. Transitioning is about showing who you are, so don't let other people tell you what's right for you. It may be harder at first, but it's worth it in the long run.
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