In 5th grade, my teacher read us an article about the first transgender man to give birth. Hearing his perspective and experience, I thought, “Oh, I’m like him.” It was in the back of my head since then, but I didn’t come out until my freshman year of high school. I was tired of being deadnamed – people using the name I was assigned at birth, not the name I identify with.
My mom, Misty, was supportive, but my dad was not. Mom’s brain injury made it difficult for her to navigate the legal system for my transition. I think my dad’s lack of support comes from misinformation and not knowing what it means to be transgender. It was hard for my older brother to come around, but he supports me now. His support made the biggest difference.
My attorney helped us coordinate with doctors and mental health counselors to get the documentation, forms and paperwork, and to prepare the orders required for a judge to approve my name and gender change, even over the protest of my dad.
I picked my name with my mom. We each had a small list of names which we combined and narrowed down to Theodore. Now that I have transitioned, I don’t introduce myself as someone that I’m not. My friend group got smaller, but I got closer to the people that stuck around. I feel more comfortable and supported, and I am proud of how far I’ve come.
I hope sharing my story will help normalize transgender people and show that it’s still very difficult in our culture to be accepted for who we are. LGTBQ people are often disenfranchised or discriminated against. It’s difficult to access resources and support—especially when we’re unable to pay for it. We need people like the attorneys at Northwest Justice Project to advocate for access to services for physical and mental health, and wellbeing.
Read our Annual Reports for more client stories.