I came out as transgender to my mum when I was 16.
She didn't take it well. I was told that I'm confused. My dad said we needed to get away from our rural town and away from all the drugs that are present here. I've never touched drugs in my life, despite being surrounded by chronic users.
For 6 years, I've swept it under the rug, kept it hidden deep inside a part of myself that I only unleash in the safety of dreams, because then I can't consciously keep it locked up. I've bided my time, waited until I can be sure I can support myself, regardless of what the reaction would be. It was going well. I got a part time job and began taking control of my Social Anxiety Disorder.
My brother said something to me that made a crack in this mental plan I was so reliant on. I was sitting at my computer, gaming. He sat on the edge of my bed with that lop-sided grin of his and asked if I wanted to have my birthday party at his block. The conversation went as expected. "You were meant to be a boy," he then said to me. My heart froze, raced and skipped a beat all at the same time. What did he mean by that? I asked him this, of course. He simply repeated himself, still grinning. I'm not sure if he was joking or being serious.
That one statement gave me hope, fear, anxiety and strength, in varying levels. So now, two days away from turning 22, I feel like I'm that 16 year old again, mustering the courage to thrust myself into the unsavory spotlight of being different from what everyone has thought, has known about me all my life. I've learned my lesson. Take it slow. Be calm. Be sure. Prepare. And don't let them take my right to be who I really am.