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)


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