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The first moment I could see my future as a trans man or trans masculine person was...
The first time I ever imagined having a future as a transgender man was actually the first moment I witnessed my mother imagining that future for me. She had really struggled with my coming outshe was convinced that I was making a choice that would prevent me from having a future at all. Then she came to visit me while I was in performing arts school. I had transitioned while in school and was living as a man for the first time in my life. Everyone in the school community knew and respected my identity as both trans and a man. I was performing in Beauty and the Beast and my mother was in the audience. After we took our final bows and changed into our street clothes my peers and teachers and I (all of whom were in the show) poured out of the stage doors. We were riding the adrenaline high of completing a successful performance and were all giddy with excitement. I saw my mom in the crowd and quickly introduced her to my school community. Other students and our instructors all gushed to my mom telling them what a great performer and man I was. We all love having him in class, one of my teachers told her. "You must be so proud." I've asked her about this moment and she doesn't remember it. But I saw a profound shift in her eyes right then. It was like she could finally see a future for me that wasn't isolated or dangerousit was bold and bright and full of love and happiness and community. I've worked so hard to live up to that future she saw in that moment and I think I've succeeded.
Resources that helped me...
Transgender men who have been willing to tell their stories! As someone who has told my story publicly I know how scary AND dangerous that can be. But going to FTM conferences and seeing trans elders speak on panels sitting with other transgender men and hearing their stories about their parents and their love lives and their careers watching trans men on TV shows... all of those individuals have helped guide and shape who I am as a transgender man. And I am so grateful to them!
Character drawings by Joey Borrelli.
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