If I had stopped exploring after I kissed that one boy in high school then I’d still be lost. Ultimately, it was years of pushing back on adults and navigating my identity alone that helped me find my way. Unable to find a doctor to prescribe me hormones, I’d go on to transition without them. I was presenting as a woman, but there was still testosterone flowing through my veins which never felt right. That was difficult. So was the way I was viewed, and treated by others. After a late night walk home from work, three men shouted at me that I was a tranny. They would go on to physically assault me.

After that, I detransitioned. I did not detransition because I wasn’t trans. I detransitioned because there were cisgender people who physically and mentally beat me down until I gave in.

After a few years of building my confidence back up, I would go on to transition again, this time with access to culturally competent health care. My anxieties could have been alleviated if adults had simply listened, paid attention, and trusted me. It shouldn’t be that difficult for the generations to come.