This letter is intended to be sent to my aunt, who is a lesbian married to another woman Chrissy. And I am terrified I’m doing it wrong. Help?

I am transgender. My nails are presenting the transgender flag. Specifically, I am a female-to-male transgender man. My perfered pronouns are he/him/his.

I know I am transgender because I experience gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is a sense of extreme distress at one’s assigned gender at birth. I’m unsure if I’ve always experienced gender dysphoria or if it’s something I’ve developed as my brain has developed but I’ve been aware of it for 3 years now. I realized I have gender dysphoria 3 years ago because of puberty. Til then sex and gender didn’t mean much to me except that I could play in princess dresses. And while I can remember wondering what it’d be like to be a boy then I figured girls had cooler stuff, so I wasn’t too mad about being assigned one.

 I’ve done a lot of exploration in 3 years and I am absolutely sure that I am a transgender man, and what I am experiencing is gender dysphoria. My expectations in telling you this is the beginning of my social transition. Which is exactly what it sounds like. A social transition would include using a new name, set of pronouns, and labels to describe me. I would present my gender as male and desire to pass as male. There’s nothing medical or unchangeable about a social transition.

The reason I’m telling you this is you and Chrissy are my best hope for a safe social transition. I seriously believe my mom may send me to conversion therapy. I don’t even believe in her religion. Though I have a sinking feeling she’ll still hold me to it. There was a time before, last summer, she found my social media where I was openly trans and queer which she responded not so well to. However, then I wasn’t ready to come out so I’ve let her believe it was a phase influenced by my friends.

I wouldn’t tell her or anyone this if I thought I could take this. But I can’t. Gender dysphoria is miserable. I look around at other people who came out to unsupportive parents years ago who now understand and I have to hope someday that’ll be me. The older I get the more gendered everything is and I feel like I could cry anytime someone calls me ‘she’. I intend on telling a few more choice people before telling my parents; though I do eventually plan on telling them.

I’m asking you to first give me time to come out to everyone I need to before I potentially jepordize my safety by telling my parents. Second, I’d like when not in the presence to be referred to as Corey, and by extension a he/him/his man. And finally, if coming out as transgender goes as bad as I think it might, I’d like to know if I could stay with you. At least til all the conflict dies down.

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