Hi, my name is Izek, and I identify as a bi-racial queer transman (FTM). Most importantly, I identify as a Christian.
I have had positive and negative experiences coming out as transgender. Luckily, I already had supportive friends, family, and church community.
This support made transitioning less intimidating.
Although I had a decent amount of support, not everyone in my life was supportive. My mother became quite depressed after I came out to her. To her, being trans is against God's will and is a one-way ticket to Hell. My relationship with her was strained for many years.
I also lost some friends because they were not comfortable using male pronouns and calling me by the name I chose for myself. It was challenging explaining to people that I was trans because most people did not know what it meant and had never met anyone who is trans.
I also had a lot of fears about coming out and transitioning. A multitude of changes happen when one transitions, and I was terrified even though it was something I desperately wanted to do. It took me a while to start living as fully me. Jesus and I were not on the same page and there was a lot of push back for the plan He had laid out for me.
Eventually I gave in and let God take control.
Once I did that, He gave me the strength and courage to be who I was made to be. One of the biggest things I have learned from this journey is that God will always provide, and I can trust Him to take care of my needs.
As a transman who passes as male and has light skin, I have not experienced much prejudice and not any violence. Now that I am read as male, I have gained some privileges that cisgender white men have, such as having my opinions being validated and respected and feeling safe (i.e. walking by myself, or in the dark).
Due to the sexism, misogyny and racism embedded in our culture, transwomen and especially transwomen of color are much more likely to encounter discrimination and violence.
There are many common misunderstandings about the transgender community.
Some misunderstandings include: we are not “real” women or men, or we are deceiving people, or we are less than human. People also mistakenly think that genitals determine if one is male or female, that all transgender people want surgery and hormones, or that we all want to fit the binary mold of man and woman.
Many people also think there are only 2 genders (when actually, gender is a spectrum), and that sexual orientation and gender identity are the same thing, or that gender identity influences your sexual orientation.
To eliminate the myths and misunderstandings about transgender people, I believe people should take responsibility and educate themselves about what it means to be trans.
It is also important to get to know trans folks. We are pretty awesome!
If I were to talk to someone who is transgender but is not out yet and is struggling with their identity, I would tell them that being comfortable in my own skin has been incredibly life changing, and it has opened so many other doors in my life I never even knew about.
We only have one life to live. And when I began to live the life I was meant to have, I found freedom.