As many people may know, the month of June is LGBT Pride Month, where we take time to celebrate our community’s achievements and also remember those who have died for being true to who they are. This year was the first year I attended the Pride events and it was far from disappointing.
I came out as transgender to my friends and family back in November of 2016. It was difficult, but I had a supportive LGBT family to back me up. I went to Identity Alaska’s Trangender group meetings every Friday night learning more about the community and what it meant to be apart of it. They were small, but welcoming. Through them, and an extensive amount of online research, I was able to transition into the man I wanted to be.
People ask me how I came to the realization of being transgender and I typically answer: “I was sick of being disgusted with my body.” I’d love to say that I knew I was transgender from the moment I was born, but I’d be lying. It’s a process that every trans person experiences individually and uniquely. Some realize it immediately, while some take decades.
This Pride event made me realize that I’m not alone and that the world is changing. Our two gay counsel members gave speeches about how they remember this event ten years ago when people had to put paper bags over their heads in fear of being seen and ridiculed by others. Today, hundreds of people all gathered together to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, etc. communities present in Alaska. Their support was astounding and I never felt more loved by a body of people in my life. It gave me hope for the future even in these dark times of hatred and discrimination.