Today we wanted to share with you another story from one of the young people we serve. Knowing that we’ve been there for youths on their journeys as they find their true selves gives us immense joy.
“I’m 21 and I’m trans.
I was raised by a single mother, and our home life was a difficult one. I suffered from depression and mental illness all my life.
When I was 16 I realized that I am trans, and when I was 18 I came out. At first, gradually, to friends from school who were like family, and eventually, to my actual family. It was a tough thing for them to accept and they didn’t support me. As a matter of fact, to this day it’s hard for them, but we’re going through a process together, as a family.
I came to ELEM five years ago and they’ve been like a family to me ever since. They helped me find myself, my path. They helped me heal my relationship with my mom and learn to share a home with her. ELEM was always there for me.
My journey has been quite a long one. COVID sure didn’t help. But now I feel sure of what I want, of who I always wanted to be. I am post surgery now and facing what comes next.
This wasn’t a simple journey. I was depressed, I experienced episodes, felt like I didn’t belong. There was pain, and COVID made the loneliness and the anxiety worse. But ELEM has been there for me constantly. They texted me, visited me, Zoomed with me when I was quarantined. The staff truly helped me.
But it didn’t end there. The youth around me at ELEM also had to go through a process of accepting me. At first, I was very confused, but once I came out the staff was there to help. They made sure everyone used the proper pronounce, they talked to the youth about what being trans is, what hardships come with it, and the highlight was that I often gave talks to my fellow youth about what being a trans person means. What does it mean to be a man in a woman’s body.
It’s important to share, to talk about it and assist others. It’s important to be in a supportive environment like the one ELEM provides.”