By Lee Verdoguillo
For as long as I could remember, I’ve always thought that I was a girl at a very young age. I only found out that I was actually a boy when I noticed that I had some differences which set me apart from girls. I felt devastated but I tried to continue with life by conforming to what society would dictate.
I forced myself to like blue, although I loved pink. I had to play with robots, although I wanted Barbie Dolls. But I wasn’t fooling myself. I would often try to sneak, so I can play with my sister’s things.
Whenever my mom caught me, she would express how she would never tolerate such actions. The rest of my family would tell me the same. I would end up feeling sad about it.
However, my story didn’t end there.
As I started going to school, I acted so feminine that my family and new friends started asking me if I was gay. I was kind of in denial about my situation. I even pretended having girl crushes! It was very much against my will. But I was still too afraid.
Eventually, I came to accept myself after seeing other gay classmates of mine living life with so much happiness. They looked free. So I first came out to my classmates as gay, then to my family. But the latter was the harder part. They believed that my actions are wrong and against the norms of society. My family, especially my Mom, would often say that I do act feminine, but I’m actually straight and that I would grow out of it soon. But I knew who I was and I knew these feelings weren’t going anywhere. I hen decided that I had to stand up for myself and show them that it’s okay to be this way. I slowly expressed myself by being flamboyant around them until slowly, they came to accept the fact that I was gay. They allowed me to be that way for as long as I stayed discreet. I thought I was already happy, but I was still not. I felt like I wasn’t there yet.
I really felt so feminine that I would always remember what I thought of myself when I was younger. I thought about it a lot and did my own research, and found out that I may be transgender – someone whose gender identity does not match his/her assigned gender at birth. I knew I had to do something about it, but fear was getting in my way.
I knew about the whole process of transition, but I was too afraid.
There was this older student in the university who was in transition.
That was when I saw with my two naked eyes a living proof that it is indeed possible. That student has inspired me to be brave enough to start with my own transition as well.
I started taking hormones and did my own research about transition.
My mom later found out about my plans. She was really mad and worried about what could happen to me. She lashed out and got really angry at me for doing so. I was sobbing for days, until mom felt bad about what she had done. Moms will always be moms. We just had to talk it out.
My mother was still not comfortable about this, but she tried to understand. She told me that I had to be safe apart from the fact that I had to be happy. I consulted a doctor for my hormones.
It has been almost three years since I first took my hormones.
Through time, my mom was able to accept the fact that this is who I am. She is now my defender against anyone who tried and who are still trying to judge me. I am very much happy with my life now.
Who knew my life would take this sudden turn? Who’d have thought that I’d be able to live life this way at the age of 19? But here I am living it. I would quote Katy Perry’s song which has this line: “acceptance is the key to be truly free.” Indeed, I have become truly free. So now, I will continue to dream, to inspire others, and to surprise myself with what else could be out there for me.