How do you feel your school deals with your transition?
Fairly well. Especially considering it was an all girls’ school. I just said to call me Sam when they called me my birthname, and he when they called me she. Because I said it like you’d comment about the weather, they didn’t know what to say, so they just did it. Because I dealt with it confidently, so did they – they took the lead from me.
Do you feel accepted and welcomed by teachers and students in your new identity?
Very much so. One girl decided I was satan’s spawn and kept trying to bitch-fit about me on facebook and stuff, but everyone else just told her to mind her own business so it was pretty good.
How has your family come to terms with your decision to transition?
Also very well. It was hard on my parents because I was the only girl out of 3 boys, and on my grandparents because they lost their only daughter to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). But they were all very mature, and always corrected themselves when they got it wrong. I think they realise it’s more important to feel some pain and know me as who I am, than not to know me at all.
What would you like to see change in your school where trans issues are concerned?
Come up with some sort of actual policy to deal with it! Most kids transitioning don’t have the blind confidence that I did, and if they’d been allowed to, they would have refused to let it happen. It’s only because they didn’t know what to do in the situation that they took the lead from me. If they took the lead from a trans kid who wasn’t confident, they’d think it was ok to use wrong pronouns etc and treat it like a phase or something. So definitely come up with a policy. And also realise it’s legal to call me ‘he’ on official documents…
From you personal experiences; how has adapting to school life been in your new identity?
Difficult in some respects – being a boy at an all girls’ school is difficult as you’re always singled out. School life itself changes very little though. Once people around you realise that transition affects almost nothing, just the name and pronoun they use for you, people settle down and don’t mind. Often they just feel like you’re becoming a totally new person, which is exactly what you’re NOT doing.
How have other students dealt with accepting your new identity?
Fairly well except for the one I mentioned earlier. She just called me a ‘birthname/Sam/he/she/it thing’ on facebook, and glared at me in corridors. And when she saw my leg hair, said ‘OMG HAVE YOU SEEN HER LEGS???’ which just made her look really silly anyway. The rest were all really accepting and fine. Some had a lot of questions, but that’s to be expected about such a taboo subject.
Have you had to deal with any transphobic discrimination, if so did you report it and how did staff deal with it?
I did report the incident I mentioned above. The head of year said she’d make her apologise – which she never did. I couldn’t be bothered to pursue it further then, so I just left it.
How do you feel your life is shaping as a trans youth?
Good. It was difficult in some areas before I was on hormones – my high voice confused people, or at the very least made me seem much younger than I was. That also worked against me in job interviews, but now that I’m on hormones it’s no problem at all.
Naechanè Valention Romeo
Trans Youth Study