Hello TG Forum! Meet 17-year-old M

| Jul 3, 2017

M

My name is M. I am 17 years old, and I live in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. I was recently invited to write monthly here, as the editor was interested in adding a teen perspective to the forum. I am about to enter my senior year in high school. While I have struggled with school in the past, I feel very confident moving forward. I’m ready to be done with high school. My passions in life include music (I play guitar, write song, and sing) and writing (mostly poetry or autobiographical fiction). I want to help people. My goals in life are to publish a book, become a psychologist, and fight for the causes I think need my attention. I am a Wiccan, and I believe in the power of energy. I am also a vegetarian who strives to fight against animal cruelty. I am all of this, but above all, I am Transgender.

I identify as genderfluid or genderqueer (more specifically a genderfluid demigirl, but that’s a lot of words). I feel that my gender identity can not be oversimplified by words like “Boy” or “Girl.” In general, I present as a girl, and that is usually how I introduce myself to people who are not trans or allies. I’ll admit, I’m not super feminine (I only like dresses some of the time), but I’m not super masculine either. I have tells about how I’m feeling on specific days. My close friends have picked up on these things in the past. For example: my classic summer masculine outfit consists of a snapback hat, jogger shorts, my favorite jean vest, and a tee-shirt, usually for a punk band. On my more feminine days, it’s usually either a dress or a tank top with short shorts. Usually it’s somewhere in between the two. I have been able to come out with relative ease, which I am very thankful for. Except for a few bigoted kids at my high school, it all went pretty smoothly. I came out in 9th grade. I first came out to two people who are still my best friends, both of whom are trans males. That was during my first week at a new school. I had this feeling about them that I could trust them. We walked around town and discussed our families, God, and our genders. That December (2014), I told my three best friends that I would prefer to be called Maria. How I came to pick that name is a long story that I’m sure I’ll eventually write about here, but it was half ironic and half a reference to my favorite song.

I lived in a boys’ dorm for 2 years before the Transgender Policy was written at my school. I was a driving force for that policy, and although there were several trans students at the school, I was really the only one who fought super hard for it. What can I say, I really don’t identify with boys. I ended up living in a girls’ dorm for my junior year before I had to leave the school. Everyone was super accepting of me, and most people were respectful. Of course, I did get dead named several times in the coming out process, and I have gone through three names. M was a nickname given to me by my family when I was picking a name.

My family has also been pretty accepting of me and my gender. I am very thankful to have only had to cut out a few people from my life. My mom and I fought a lot over my gender, and I felt like she didn’t care. But now I know that she always tries to do what is best for me, even if I occasionally disagree with it. My father never really confronted me about my gender, but we’ve always connected through music, so I’ve used that to get him used to the idea of my gender. He and I attend concerts a lot of the time, and we’ve seen Against Me! once. (For those of you who don’t know, the lead singer of Against Me!, Laura Jane Grace, is a trans woman). At one point, I read the book Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky, and I gave my copy to my parents so that they could read about a trans girl. It was a very helpful book to me, and it helped my parents understand that this isn’t a choice.

On a medical note, I have been on a combination of Estrogen, Spironolactone, and Synarel since August 31st, 2016. However, I started Synarel, a testosterone blocking nasal spray, on April 26th, 2016. I am again very lucky to have not run into any gatekeepers in my experience, however my first therapist did tell my mom “there’s no way that he’s trans. He’s just gay.” That set things back a bit. I eventually got the therapist to understand that I am super serious about my gender, and that this was not a phase. While I have gone through periods of being unsure about things, I’ve realized that a word I really identify with is ‘Queer.” I know that that word was originally a slur, but I believe that it should be taken back by the LGBTQ community. Queer, to me at least, is an all encompassing word. It can mean whatever you want it to mean really. To me, when I say that I’m queer, it’s my way of saying “it’s complicated.”

All in all, I truly believe that people are (most of the time) good. People who we think of as bad are often just misguided. My experience has been overall positive. Yes, I have had a breakdown in front of a mirror, and I have a terrible fear of public bathrooms, but I recognize that things are getting better. And while the U.S. may have hit a roadblock (Trump), I truly believe that things are getting better. It is a generally accepted believe in Wicca that the earth is good, and that if you put out positive energy, positivity will come your way. Thank you so much for reading my first post! I look forward to getting to know everyone who is a part of this community. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day (or night)!

Blessed be,

M.

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Category: Body & Soul

About M: M is a 17-year-old agender person who lives in Pennsylvania. They about to enter senior year of high school. Their preferred pronouns are they/them. Their favorite things are music, poetry, and dogs. M is an aspiring writer, activist, and psychologist. They look forward to being a part of the TG Forum community, and would love to share their perspective of the world.

Comments (7)

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  1. Sophie Lynne Sophie Lynne says:

    Yes, I thought not.

    Your cards were called- you blustered and folded.

    I am also A voice for the Trans community- not THE voice, A voice. I don’t tell other people how to run their lives, nor am I the arbiter of who is/ is not trans. And I also post on multiple sites. Oh, proof?

    here on TG Forum (2 different columns)

    My blog at https://sophielynne1.blogspot.com/

    International magazines (numerous)

    New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/storywall/transgender-today/stories/sophie-lynne

    Frankly, I don’t give a damn who you are. I seriously hope you aren’t a health provider. Why? What kind of “health provider” takes time out of their day to pick on a 17 year old kid?

    How much “serious thought” did it take you to decide to be a Bully? A Matón? Seriously.

    Give you a hint- your reputation here isn’t as a serious person: it’s that you’re an imbécil: a Jerk.

    This 17 year put herself out there to help others. She is a fantastic, brave woman. She is also my friend. So, if you want to pick on someone, go elsewhere. If you want to contribute positively to the conversation, by all means, do so.

    No creo que tengas las agallas. (I don’t think you have the guts.) Prove me wrong. Be a Positive force

  2. Graham says:

    Hi M

    I’m really sorry about the “welcoming committee”. I was going to write a quick note when I first read your post (it arrives Monday morning UK-time), but I had to take my car in to be serviced … now I wish I’d got down to it quicker. Anyhow, better late than never. Welcome! 🙂

    As a summary of where I’m at: I came out in my early 40s as a traditional crossdresser, but quickly became disillusioned with the complete lack of interest within that community in fighting for crossdressers’ rights at a time when transsexualism was starting to become political. I left the organised groups after just a couple of years (oftentimes in disgrace, it has to be said) to pursue recognition and respect for my own personal brand of presentation – essentially “a man in a skirt”. Technically, I’m a heterosexual biologically-male gender-nonconformist.

    So you and I appear to have something in common in that we’ve come to rest somewhere between “him” and “her”, so to speak. I trust that’s an accurate – if deliberately vague – description. That make us different from pretty-much everyone who posts here. (Angela will correct me if I’ve overlooked anyone!) People tell me that being “neither one nor the other” is a brave position to adopt, but I suspect you realise as I do that bravery doesn’t enter into it – we do what we have to do despite the slings and arrows that people hurl at us from all sides … viz. your welcoming committee!

    For my money, I found it refreshing to read a novel history, and to get a new perspective on the trans issue. But I was most impressed to read about your work on formulating a trans policy at your school; I also worked with my employer (a UK-based global telecommunications company) on a trans policy over the course of almost a decade, eventually creating a protection net for transsexuals, crossdressers, and gender-nonconformists like myself in what we believed to be the first policy of its kind in the UK. So I realise how much hard work goes into it, and how incredibly frustrating and disheartening it is when not a SINGLE other person wants to help! That, sadly, is the nature of the beast.

    I took early retirement in 2011, and now work as a piano accompanist for choirs and musical groups across Suffolk, England … which obviously brings me into contact with hundreds of “ordinary” people. Those who refuse to be shoe-horned into one of life’s neat little boxes will – eventually – change the world just by being “out there” and being seen, and by not to take life lying down!

    I look forward to your next piece.

  3. KoolMcKool says:

    Well I wish you the best in finding success in life, real success, being trans is not success.
    And to the editors of this site, once you start running blogs of 17 year olds, you only continue to be far gone on being anything credible or serious in representation of trans people.
    Trans people will never be taken seriously by a site like this and thankfully it has very few readers.

    • Kool, I don’t know why you bother to check our content out if all you get from it is negative. We find the fact that trans kids can now be open, in many cases, to sharing their feelings with parents, teachers and others rather than being locked in a cage of fear that they will be ostracized and otherwise hurt by being out and open. We welcome M’s voice as an articulate addition to our content.

    • Graham says:

      Kool – Disagreeing with someone’s point of view is one thing, but trashing them because you’re obviously jealous of what they’ve managed to achieve is completely out of order. You’re only revealing your own lack of self-respect, self-acceptance, and dignity by posting such a hostile and condescending comment; frankly, your best bet is to retreat back to your closet before you destroy the last remnants of you credibility.

      Seriously – why are you even here???

    • Sophie Lynne Sophie Lynne says:

      Well “Kool,” if you think you can do better, put your money where your mouth is. Write a column illuminating what a “true transperson” thinks/ should think so we may bask in your infinite wisdom.

      But I doubt you will.

      • KoolMcKool says:

        I come once in a while to see what is the latest take from the trans community, hoping to see a turn around some day. I write on other sites on a variety of topics. I never hide the fact I am trans, or Hispanic if asked. But I like my reputation as a serious thinker, a serious person in the role of health care provider. Those topics and occupation have put me where I am and given me a strong reputation first with being trans second or even 3rd.