(Legal) Adulthood

contains light mentions of transphobia

When the far-right failed to convince larger society that adult transgender people were dangerous, they started going after children instead. Thankfully, this isn't my problem anymore! I'm kidding. It is absolutely of my concern, but you better believe that as I turned 18 2 days ago, I was celebrating.

You see, I realized that I really didn't like being a boy and was in fact transgender roughly 3-4 years ago, in early high school. I knew transgender people were real, but it all started when I -- somehow for the first time -- thought to reflect the question on myself: am I trans? I never went through a lengthy period of denial as many queer people do about their identities; after a few days of my world turning on its head, I knew what was up. I had to act, but I did not know if I had the strength to.

I found myself barreling downhill on the path least travelled by.

After I spent a few months closeted, I came out to my mom -- the primary guardian of my 2 divorced parents -- and had disappointing results. Despite not accepting me at first, she did help me find a therapist and research how to get hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Then, to my further disappointment and perhaps her relief, I could not get HRT until I was an adult, as my catholic father would have to consent.

I emotionally boarded up and wasted away for 4 long years without the treatment I needed, because the state within America wherein I live has made a deliberate effort to discourage people like me from being happy. Even though I knew what I wanted, was dealing with my own body that I should be able to have legal agency over, and was (only formally) encouraged by the parent who was usually raising me, it was his say-so.

I have still had a wonderful time here on Earth, a better time than many others. I've gone places, had real experiences -- and most importantly, I've made some real friends. However, I can't escape the feeling that this year, this arbitrary date, is when my life is really beginning.

The real kicker for me is this: despite my clearly suboptimal path to womanhood, I've got it good. I'm lucky. My family income is good, and my mom would later come around to be much, much more accepting than she was at the beginning. Many trans people have no supportive parents, which guarantees two things. One, they will have an upbringing that is at best bad, and at worst deeply traumatizing. And two, their ability to get the medication they need depends on their own financial performance... at 18 years old. With the luck I'm having getting my first job, that thought is terrifying.

Birth lottery? We take those.

Allow me to close, however, with a very positive note. I am in one of the best places on the globe for a transgender person. Sure, it's America, but it's a developed country. Sure, it's a southern state, but it's an urban area. Medication allowing someone to fully function as another gender in society isn't something that people in other places get to think about. But hey, sometimes that doesn't even stop them.