By Gabriel B.

I’d always known that I wasn’t like the other girls. I never truly felt like a girl and I’ve only come to realize in the past few years that I’m not.

I’d always sat with the guys at lunch in the latter half of fifth grade. Half because the girls bullied me, half because I felt more comfortable with the boys. Either way, I enjoyed listening to them talk about whatever they happened to be talking about, whether it be banana phones or silly things we thought were important back then. I felt like I fit in with the guys, but they never really accepted me. Perhaps it was that I looked so feminine or that puberty was starting to hit me like a freight train.

I never liked my legal name, but I never wanted nick-names. I changed my name to a feminine J name; Jenny, which is what some of my older LGG articles are credited under. Some are still under my legal name. Since then and more recently (as of September 2023), I’ve changed my name to a more masculine name starting with a G. I tried out a few other masculine names along the way. I knew I wanted a masc name. I finally decided on Gabriel and it felt right when people called me that. 

My grandparents have struggled with using my pronouns and my new names over the years. They’re in their seventies and from a different generation, though that’s not an excuse. They still call me “she” and my deadname sometimes. They’ve taken to my preferred name better, but they still don’t use my pronouns consistently. They also struggle to introduce me to other people (mostly people who they know) as Gabriel and use they/them pronouns. 

When I came out to my grandparents, my grandmother responded with “you’re still our grandchild and we love you”, which is kind of the bare minimum. I know they love me and care about me, but I feel like they could’ve done more for me. I don’t think they understand that it isn’t me being confused all the time, it’s a journey for me. I’m still on that journey and I still want top surgery. Even if they oppose it. 

In the end, being transgender wasn’t a choice and I am glad to have some of the people in my life, especially my friend Isabell. I’m saving up for top surgery, but who knows when that’ll be? I’m still the same person and no matter what pronouns I use, I’ll still never be a girl. I may not have grown up with the experience of being cisgender, but I’m somewhere on the spectrum of male and female in gender. It’s not as black and white as some people think it is. I do sometimes wish I was a cisgender guy, but I can’t change what I was born as. What I can do is change to become the person I really am and want to be. I’ll still be me, a non-binary person who likes people. I just hope the world can accept me that way, because I’m not changing for anyone.

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