Chris in our panel at the Philly Trans Health conference 2013
“Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare the truth thou hast, that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare” said Voltaire. My son did just that at the Philadelphia Trans Health conference just over a week ago. It was our 3rd year attending this wonderfully inspiring conference. My son and I were conducting our first workshop with our heroes: Jeanette and Jazz (as written in my Touched by an Angel blog) My son, Chris wrote his own speech and he impressed everyone with his confidence, bravery and insight. I will write about our magical Philly experience but it occurred to me that I had written about my son but that you hadn’t had the pleasure of hearing his words yourself. So with my son’s permission I would now like to share with you the speech he wrote and spoke in Philly.
Here he is “crawling out of his shell.”
Good afternoon everyone, my name is Chris, I’m 14 almost 15. I’m not much different from other guys my age, I like to skateboard, hang out with friends, play baseball, play guitar, but the only thing that makes me different from other guys is that, I was born a girl.
When I was around 3 years old, everyone kept calling me a girl, and I was really confused, because I knew I wasn’t a girl, but I figured that I should just make everyone happy and pretend that I was a girl.
As I got older, I began dressing more and more like a boy, and cutting my hair short. I looked like every other boy, and I did everything else all the other boys did: I played sports, went outside all of the time, etc. When ever I went anywhere, I passed as a boy, which made me really happy.
As I started to get around the age of 10, people started making fun of me for wearing boys clothes, so I figured that I should just “suck it up” and pretend to be a girl. At this time I had no idea what it meant to be transgender.
Puberty was coming, which made everything worse. How would you feel to be a boy going through puberty as a girl? I knew I hated it, but I just figured it was normal to feel that way.
When I was 10, I started having crushes on girls, at this time I knew something must have been really off, because all of the other girls my age were having crushes on boys, and I wasn’t. I thought to myself that I might be a lesbian, so at age 11 I told my mom I was a lesbian, but inside deep down, I knew that it was much more than being a lesbian, I knew that I was a boy, but how was I supposed to explain that?
When I was 11 I found out what transgender was. At first I wasn’t sure if that was what I was, but I started to research more and more on the topic, and I thought that I might be transgender, but I was afraid that if I came out as transgender I would be bullied really badly. A few weeks passed and I came across a documentary called “My Secret Self” that came out back in 2007, and I watched the entire documentary, and after I finished I thought, I can’t pretend to be a girl anymore, I just can’t, it’s not who I am, and I’ll never be happy if I keep pretending to be a girl.
After I realized I was transgender everything started to make sense, why I had been feeling so different my whole life, and why I hated my body so much, and why my mind didn’t match my body.
The date was Sept. 24th 2010. I walked into my mom’s room. I was in tears. I said, “Mom, I’m not a girl, I’m a boy, if I have to continue living as a girl, I can promise that I won’t live anymore.”
I meant every single one of those words; if I had to keep living my life as a girl, I wouldn’t have lived.
Right after that my mom said okay, and we went out to buy boys clothes and a week after I got my hair cut short. I slowly started coming out to my friends, and started coming out to people at school. After a few months my teachers were informed of me being transgender, and they started calling me Chris and using male pronouns.
After I transitioned, I could finally be myself. I didn’t have to pretend to be who I wasn’t: I had finally crawled out of my shell.
In 7th grade I attended this conference, which is amazing, because I got to meet other transgender kids, and I got to be completely accepted for who I was. Then that summer, I attended Camp Aranu’tiq, which is a summer camp for transgender kids, which is a life saver.
At the beginning of 8th grade, I got on hormone blockers, so I didn’t have to go through puberty as a girl, which is amazing, because then I didn’t have to worry about developing a chest or getting a period.
Today I’m happy, I’m living my life the way I want to live it, not caring what people have to say about it, I’m being myself, and I couldn’t care less who disagrees with it. I’m keeping my head held high, and I’ve never been happier in my whole life.
What has made my whole transition better is that I’ve had support. I’ve had support from my mom, who is the most amazing mother I could have ever asked for, she’s always there for me and I can talk to her about almost everything, and I’ve had support from all of my friends.
Being transgender is hard, but I’m proud of it, I won’t let anyone try to tell me who I am or who I should be, because I’m happy with it. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything, because being transgender is probably one of the hardest things to deal with, but it’s taught me so many things, and because of it, I am who I am today, if I wasn’t transgender, I wouldn’t be the same.
If you had ever wondered before now I think you may know why I am so very proud to call Chris my son.
Until next time.
Mary J. Moss
Feisty single mom to a terrific 14 year old boy who just happens to be transgender
Founding member of New York Citizens for Transgender Rights (NYCTR)
Monday, June 24, 2013 by: Mary Moss