Hi, I’m Dante. I am a young transgender male. This is my blog, and here I will be talking about my gender identity, my mental health, and what it’s like being a transgender male who is out and proud. This post will introduce me, to you!
Trigger Warning: self-harm, suicidal ideation
From a young age, I have never really—‘fit in’. Everyone always told me I needed to stop playing in the dirt or stop playing on the monkey bars because those are only for the boys. I never understood that. Why are they only for boys?
I remember when I went to an elementary school that required uniforms, the girls wore skirts and the boys wore pants. I asked my mom to buy me khakis, and she did. The next day, I went to school all happy with my new pants, but my teacher was not. She told me that I couldn’t wear pants, and that tomorrow I would have to wear skirts or I would be sent home. Sadly, I didn’t tell my mom about it because I didn’t think it was a big deal. I just saw some pants and thought they were cool. I brushed it off, but deep inside—I was very upset. Yet I couldn’t understand why I was upset.
Now (in the modern-day), I realized that it’s because I hate skirts. I hate things feminine because they just don’t feel right. These kinds of things made me realize who I am. If you’re a boy then you could wear skirts, I just prefer not to.
Around the early age of 8 or 9, I started to have thoughts of suicide, and every day I woke up, I felt gross. It didn’t feel like this was my body. I thought that I just hated myself. So, I resorted to self-harm. The first time I self-harmed, my thoughts were getting dark. There was a little voice inside me saying, “Do it. Nobody will care anyways.”, and unfortunately, it was right. I locked myself in the bathroom and cut myself using a pencil sharpener. There was a brief period of time where I started to feel better, but then reality set in. I realized what I had done, so I cried. The tears didn’t stop flowing, and that night, and I cried myself to sleep.
A little while after that, I began seeing a therapist, because I told my mom about it. But I never expressed my suicidal feelings to anyone, because I knew they’d be mad. I only knew this because when my mom found out that I was self-harming, she yelled at me, called me stupid, and told me that I need to think before I do stuff. Those words really hurt. Because I couldn’t control it. Self-harming became a comfort. It engulfed me and was the only thing that made me feel better.
After a while, I couldn’t handle it and decided to tell someone about it (besides my mom). So, I told my sister about it. Instead of yelling at me, she offered me support. I don’t remember much about it, but I do remember that she told me about her experience. It made me feel better, knowing that I wasn’t alone on this. I knew that from that day on, I could count on her for endless support. Around that time, my therapist diagnosed me with depression.
Therapy continued and at the age of 10, stuff started to happen to me. I started to experience the symptoms of depression’s close cousin, anxiety. These random waves of anxiety washed over me, and I literally felt like I was drowning. My heart would randomly start to race, the blood would rush to my head, and I would get the overwhelming feeling that I needed to cry. It became so much, that I relapsed on my self-harm. My mental health was in the most horrible condition.
Unfortunately, on September 9th, 2020, I was admitted to the psychiatric ward of Lawrence & Memorial Hospital. My mom had found out I was self-harming again, and she mistook it as me attempting suicide. She called the cops on me, but I refused to go anywhere without my dad. That night she was drunk, and I tried to tell them that, but they only cared about the cuts on my wrists. Due to the fact that my mom is my legal guardian, nobody could protest against her, therefore meaning I had to go whether I liked it or not. That night was excruciating. I spent the night alone, only allowed to be visited a few times by my sister and my father, but never at the same time.
In the hospital, they gave me medication. It was a medication that put me to sleep. When I told my dad and sister, they were outraged, because it was given to me without their knowledge or consent. So, you could probably tell that I didn’t have the best time. That experience changed me. Because soon after, I came out as transgender. It shaped me into being the boy I am today. My anxiety and depression soon became better, yet it is still there. I suffer from time to time, but now I am much happier! Being a boy has made me feel comfortable in my own skin, and everyone tells me that I look much happier. I’m proud to be a transgender male.
To my sister and my brother, thank you. Your endless support has made me feel much better in my body. I love you.
“I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.“
– Elliot Page, who is also an out & proud transgender male
You can read Planned Parenthood’s article about appropriate labels for transgender people here.
And you can read my story right here on TurningPointCT.org!