Coming out is a scary thing, and sometimes the 'what ifs' can be the thing that prevent ourselves from becoming who we truly are and stop us from matching ourselves from the outside, to how we feel on the inside - and for me it was no different.
When we are kids we tend to be who we really are, we act how we want to act and say what we want to say. I think that's because as young kids we don't know about the harsh judgements of society. When I was a young child I remember constantly dressing up as a girl, tights over my head and putting on my older sisters lipstick whilst singing along to 'Relection - Christina Aguilera' on the disney film Mulan and remembering feeling such a connection with it - and to be honest I still feel that same connection. Everyone in my family knew I loved dressing up as a girl, my cousins, sisters and parents. My mother let me experiment, my cousins used to have fun dressing me up and of course my sisters liked to poke fun, but the real issues wasn't from the playful teasing from my sisters, it came from mental and physical abuse from my father. "Poof" "freak" "weirdo" - I soon learned what I was doing was something that "wasn't normal", and that was the beginning of my fathers resentment towards me and my own self conscious imagine... and hate.
I got picked on a lot throughout my school years. The girls didn't play with me because I was a boy, and the boys didn't play with me because I acted like a girl. I was a loner, and an easy target for the bullying and taunting of school kids. Whether I was on the field making daisy chains or trying to learn how to kick a football attempting to make friends, nothing seemed to work.
The bullying became so bad that I had to make a drastic change. I couldn't mentally handle the physical and mental abuse from the school kids and then coming home and receiving the same abuse from my father. My father was an ex-professional boxer - a "man's man" so to speak, and he attempted so many times to get me to follow in his footsteps, but no matter how had he tried, the more I began to rebel. I became what I hated, a bully. Picking on the weaker school kids and taking drugs and drinking alcohol on my lunch break it wasn't long before I got myself into the wrong crowd, and a very sticky situation.
I always thought that I was gay, because I liked men and men who like men are gay, but I never felt like one of the boys. Nothing about me said I am a boy. I began to get very anxious and my habit for illegal drugs became a dependency. My mental health began spiralling out of control. I was bed ridden for months. I would go weeks without taking a shower, would cry myself to sleep most nights and try rely on quotes that I found on Google to help find my inner mental strength throughout the night. My anxious mind became an anxiety disorder. I couldn't leave the house and every time I went to someone for help they would put it down to "being out my face on drugs". Looking back on those days that was probably the hardest part, asking for help from friends and family and being turned away, it was almost like I was being abandoned. One night I was telling a friend how I was feeling, how I was only able to sit up for a short amount of time before being crippled with the agonising fear. My friend decided to take action and took me down to A&E because she thought I had a collapsed lung, but the nurse told me it was anxiety - a-so-called panic attack and that I had to try and relax and get a good night's rest. My friend told me to stay with her for a while, and a year later I was ready to move back home to my parents.
Gaining my mental health back wasn't an easy task and even today, from time to time I feel myself slipping down the same road as I once was, but having that one friend who took my hand and helped me along the way saved my life. It was during this time I received a message from my mum on Facebook, and it went something like this... "I'm not saying this is true and tell me if I'm wrong, but are you gay?" The room suddenly became slow motion, my heart started racing and my anxiety started rising through my stomach and into my chest. I remember thinking to myself "this is it, and there's no going back" I typed "yes" into the message box and before pressing send I took one last look around the room, back to my friend who was obliviously playing Facebook games unawear of what I was just asked, and more importantly what I was about to answer and then back to my laptop. I went onto YouTube and linked my mum to a video explaining how I felt, but it wasn't a coming out as gay video, it was a coming out as transgender video... But my head was so discombobulated at that time I wasn't able to put two and two together. But what made her ask me? Why now? I remembered that I had posted the lyrics to Refelction "if I were truly to be myself, I would break my families heart" on Twitter and my auntie had responded to it saying she would love me whoever I am, and I think to this day that it was her who let my mum know, and suggested bringing it up to me.
I didn't know if it was a sigh of relief or fear when I finally picked up the courage to press send but the feeling was something I'll never forget. Was my life changed forever? And do i prepare myself for more bruises from my father? I remember the first time I saw my father after coming out as gay to my mum, I put on the kettle and made my way into the living room where my mum and dad were watching TV and asked if they wanted a cup of tea - I've never seen so much hate in someone's eyes when my dad turned around to look at me. "What you asking me for? Get the **** out my face" and as I left and closed the door behind me I heard the words "poofy bastard" from under his breath.
It wasn't long before coming out that I started cross dressing. Wearing makeup and woman's clothes I would walk about town and I felt more like myself. "That's it" I remember thinking to myself "this is who I am - a boy who likes to wear woman's clothes" I went four years cross dressing in secret from my father and how I managed to keep it that long is beyond me. I guess when you're put into a situation in life you learn to adapt to the situation. I became a little bit of a socialite in town - or in other words a club rat, everyone knew my name and knew I wasn't afraid to speak my mind. My social media following grew and with that came an ego. Drinking 4 days a week - every week and getting myself into weird situations and sharing it to the world via my social media, I thought I was "living the life", but in reality I was on a one way ticket to nowhere... on self destruct.
One night I was lying in bed with a world's worst hangover and I heard the front door open and slam shut. My father drunkenly stuttered into the hallway and upstairs into his bedroom. It wasn't long before I heard a huge rumble coming back down the stairs and my bedroom door blasting open. Next thing I knew I was being attacked... Again. He was screaming at in my face "where's the woman's clothes you freak, where's the clothes". I denied all knowledge of what he was talking about and opened my closet door for him to look inside and of course he didn't see anything there because I wasn't as stupid to let that thing be seen so easily, and even if I didn't he would have been to drunk to notice anyway. He began assaulting me again, kicking me, punching and spitting on my face. When it was over I looked into the mirror and through the tears that were in my eyes I saw an upcoming bruise, and all I remember saying to myself is "you're okay, conceleler will hide that".
I messaged my mum who was working at the time and told her what happened, and she told me that she would be home soon... And soon after I received the text message she was opening my bedroom door. I still remember the shock in her eyes when she looked at my face and she told me that she was taking me to the police station to charge my dad - but I told her that I didn't want to and told her that I was going to stay at my friend's for the night out of town. I don't know what it was about that last assault but something changed, I wasn't willing to put myself through it another time. That was the night I moved out of my parents house and went into the homeless.
It took me a while to adapt to the adult life and being on my own. I was drinking almost every night and began doing things that I'm still not ready to talk about publicly. Although I was an erratic mess I was slowly starting to accept myself as transgender. The year after that was a blur... I couldn't quite "get myself together" and my reputation became more and more taboo. After coming out to everyone that I was transgender I received an enormous emount of support, of course with the few haters, but it was the first step to becoming who I really was and it felt great.
One year later and here I am, writing to you my experience, in a 8 month relationship with the most kindest, sweetest guy who loves me for me. Me and my father no longer talk but me and the majority of my family get on great and I have the most supportive friends I could ever ask for. Who would have thought, ay? I have just started my transition but I have a feeling that I have finally stepped on to the right path to greatness and happiness, only time will tell but I'm sure I'll let you know along the way.
I get asked advice on a weekly basis and I find it very hard to give it because everyone's transition and journey is different, but I do have one thing I hope you do before coming out or starting to transition. Make sure you're independant, financially and emotionally. Once you can stand on your own two feet I feel like coming to the decision to come out will be a lot more pleasant - and I wish you all the best and happiness in the world - and just stay true to yourself, you have one life - make it count.
Until next time, double kisses.