I am a transgender man.
When I was born I was assigned the gender female. And given a female name.
A beautiful name that I actually really liked. Until learnt what “gender” is. And until I started associating that name with so-called femininity. Until I realised that my name was branding me with a label that I did not want.
Woman. Girl. She. Her.
How cool would it be if I was born a boy? That thought first came to my mind when I was about 6 years old. And it stuck with me.
It took me 15 years to realise the fact that I wanted to be a boy. The fact that I wanted to have a dick. The fact that I felt deeply uncomfortable with my boobs. The fact that I looked in the mirror and was disgusted. That was not normal. (Whatever normal is).
Those thoughts were very clear signs that neither I nor my parents recognised.
Today I know. I am a boy. I was born a boy. No matter what. No matter my dick-less crotch or my not-flat chest or my curves.
I am a man. And I am fucking beautiful.
Today my name is Leon.
I have very, very, very few people to look up to. (Shoutout to Laverne Cox and Elliot Page! Thank you! You are wonderful! I hope to meet you in person one day.)
This country and other countries make it quite hard to get gender-affirming care especially if you are broke. (Shoutout to the NHS! Get your act together!)
Most of the people I know who are not transgender know very, very, very little about anything to do with transness. “Ignorance” describes the lack of knowledge or information about something.
Whenever I meet curious and open people, I spend hours talking their ears off and telling them my experiences. (This happens mostly at parties when the crowd has thinned and the night is coming to an end).
I do not want anyone to feel the way I felt as a kid and still do today sometimes.
I want my fellow trans people to feel proud of who they are.
I want no one to have to struggle with themselves just because they don’t know the possibilities.
I want to be able to look up at the world and point at trans people doing great things and telling great stories. And to say “That is me. I am like them. I am perfect. I do not need to change.”
I want to live in a world where kids are allowed to explore their (gender) identity freely and get shown all the possibilities of who they could grow up to be.
I want to tell some of those beautiful trans stories.
I want to play some of those authentic trans characters. (Maybe the first trans spiderman if things go well.)
I want some of those trans kids to look up and see me and feel like everything is possible.
I want some of those parents to hear my story and see their trans kids for who they are.
I want us all to be less lonely in this world and more happy in our skin.
I want to stand next to Elliot Page, Laverne Cox and many, many, many more beautiful trans actors. Shining a light into the darkness.
Leon Schoder (he/him)