There's a gender in your brain and a gender in your body. For 99 percent of people, those things are in alignment. For transgender people, they're mismatched. That's all it is. It's not complicated, it's not a neurosis. It's a mix-up. It's a birth defect, like a cleft palate.
For me, it was never a question of whether or not I was transgender. It was a question of what I'd be able to handle transitioning and having to do it in the public eye. One of the issues that was hard for me to overcome was the fear of that.
I confused gender identity with sexual orientation. Your gender identity is about who you are, how you feel, the sex that you feel yourself to be. Sexual orientation is who you're attracted to.
It felt as if my body was, like, literally betraying me because I went from a very athletic, straight-up-and-down little kid to a very curvaceous woman, and it was just horrifying to me.
I thought, transgender people are much worse off than I am. That's why they're willing to risk everything to be who they are. But the older I got, the harder it got to stay in my body.
Obviously the transgender movement has not progressed in the way that the gay and lesbian movement has. But I'm an activist - that's just the kind of person I am.
Gender is between your ears and not between your legs.
When I realised I was transgender I was so afraid of what my transition would do to everyone else in my life and how they would react to it and would I be rejected?
A lot of parents never speak to their transgender kids again; that's not the case in my family.
As you get older it's more confusing. Suddenly, there's more pressure to fit in to your assigned gender.
I always wanted to shave. It is a very natural process. For my birthday I got a lot of shaving stuff.
Deep down, my mom had long suspected I was gay... Much of her anger and hurt came from her sense of betrayal that she was the last to be told.
I felt like one of the boys. My friends were boys. In school I related to boys.
What mom cares about most is that I'm happy, healthy and enjoying my life.
Being self-supporting is important to me.
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