Transgender: denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender.
“So I am a gay trans woman, and I’ve come out to four people: my therapist, my mom and two friends in real life, though I present myself as the woman I am online.”
That introduction alone is hopeful: I present myself as the woman I am online. Perrie’s statement removes any ambiguity from her gender. No matter what she gets called, or what happens, or who decides they don’t agree, she is a woman. That’s unchangeable.
“The first person to ever know anything about how I felt was my mom. At first I came out to her as a crossdresser, since that’s what I knew with the education I had gotten on gender identity. It wasn’t until 2014 when I learned what “transgender” meant and that was where I realized I am trans. In 2015, after a terrible trip to the US which I didn’t seem to enjoy, I found myself in the car with my mom, and after debating with myself for days I decided to tell her.
As soon as I told her, she told me I was confused, and even though she knows my pronouns and the name I’ve selected for myself, she refuses to call me by it. Even today, she’s still telling me to stop thinking about it and that I have to focus on studying.
But that’s the problem with our education system, they focus on our grades rather than our mental health.”
I asked Perrie if there was a defining moment for her, a time when she absolutely knew that she was trans.
“I actually did have a defining moment and it was when I was 14. I used to think I was just a crossdresser, since I liked to wear clothes assigned to the opposite gender, but when I started researching about the LGBTQIA+ community I saw the definition of transgender and I felt identified. I realized that was me because I never felt comfortable enough in my body and living as a man just never seemed fitting for me, so there I started identifying as trans.”
When asked if she had a support system in place to deal with the lack of acceptance she’s receiving from her mother, she replied:
“I do. After I came out to my mom I did the same with my two best friends irl, and online in general people know me as Perrie, so I really feel like I have support, yet sometimes I feel so lost and lone like I can’t fully be myself because my family in general would probably not be accepting of me. Those day’s there’s seriously nothing that can make me feel comfortable with myself. But in general, I do have support.”
Lastly, I asked her if she had advice for those who haven’t become comfortable or fully discovered their own sexualities yet.
“Yes. You are valid. I myself grew up scared of being gay (in my case) and everyone talked badly about trans people so if you’re in that environment, there’s various sites that you can go to to get support. Life will be hard but believe me, there’s nothing that feels better than being true to yourself.”