May 31 2016

        Pride has always been important to me. I have always been a part of the LGBTQ+ community, first coming out as pansexual and then coming out as a transgender male. However, people have not always made fun of me for it. Only recently have I struggled with bullying directed at me, and this was due to me being transgender. I was in chemistry several months ago, and I heard a few boys who were sitting in the other side of the classroom trash talking Caitlyn Jenner. Although I am not a huge fan of Caitlyn Jenner, I was offended by their comments toward her. However, I did not take any action. Then, a pencil was thrown at me. It was a sharpened pencil, but the eraser side hit my head and I was not hurt. Deep down, I wanted to cry; I held back my tears and tried to make it look like it didn’t affect me. No disciplinary action was taken towards the boys’ comments.

        However, bullying that I have responded to at school is the least of my worries. I was outed to my father by my siblings. They meant no harm by it and did not know that I was keeping it from him, but he still didn’t react positively. He said that I had been raped, and that it was the only way that I could feel this way. He told me that it would pass just like other phases do, and that I would return to my natural feminine self in a matter of time. However, it has nearly been a year since I came out and there is still no change.

        Because my parents are divorced, my siblings and I are legally supposed to go out for dinner with my father on Tuesday nights for two hours. One of these Tuesday nights, we ate Chinese food. While we were eating, I excused myself from the table to use the restroom. When I returned, he declared that I needed my own restroom because I do not belong in restrooms with “regular men and women.” This angered me, and I have not been to a Tuesday dinner since.

        Bathrooms have not always been a struggle for me. Earlier this year, I posted a poll on twitter asking the student body at my high school if they would want to have trash cans for pads and tampon wrappers in stalls in the men’s restroom. It was a unanimous yes, and I tagged the school in it. A few months ago, the principal found me and told me that they were budgeting for it. I walked into the bathroom today, and there was a trash can in the stall!

        My school has worked so hard to accommodate for its trans students, and this is a big step for us transgender men. I am thankful with this progress, and I am hoping that I can work to make this a district-wide project.

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