So I would like to keep this anonymous because I am still not out but I haven’t had the opportunity to share my story without fear of being outed so to start off, I am a trans guy that has fully transitioned. I would expect things to be easier for someone who passes as CIS. No one who doesn’t know me personally or from former schools would be able to tell so I assumed it would all be simple, especially having had the privilege of having 100% supportive parents and being financially stable enough to start T and get surgery with no second thoughts. But it never fulfilled me. Like any other person, I always wanted that “high school love” But I never got that. As I grew older and out of the high school social scene I realized that it’s not everything in the world. But it still makes me sad because being trans, you don’t know who is accepting and who isn’t. Even the most open minded people can have internalized stereotypes or transphobia instilled in their mindset. So it makes it ten times harder to even make one move not knowing what the consequences can be, simply because of my body. I remember one time I told a girl I was trans before engaging in anything, and her response was “it’s okay I'm bisexual.” It completely diminished the last of the masculinity I felt I had. I haven’t been with anyone since that. I wouldn’t call it trauma but it’s something that has stuck with me forever and scares me. I don’t ever wanna feel that feeling again, because to this day I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind that maybe every girl feels that way about trans men. I never thought about the way people talk about all the standards they have for what a man is supposed to be and I never really cared until I was hit with the harsh reality of GROWING UP. I feel like these things have developed some sort of toxic masculinity into me, As if I need to prove to people that I am a man. But no matter how masculine I look on the outside, it never sits well with me. I can never fully be fulfilled because I have a constant reminder that I can’t ever be like the rest of the guys. I know it’s dumb to be upset over something so little as “love” or “validation” of my masculinity but sometimes I think about how nice it could have been to live the life of a CIS boy and the confidence I would have. I hope one day I can learn to truly love myself despite the disadvantages I have been given in this society. And to anyone who is questioning or pre transition / can’t transition. It will get better. Transitioning saved my life, I don’t think I would have made it through high school If I hadn’t transitioned in 8-9th grade. It is truly the most amazing feeling on the planet. And despite the gender dysphoria or trouble we may have with dysphoria, and the toll it takes on our confidence romantically or socially, YOU ARE VALID. You are who you are, and accepting that your identity is valid and that you aren’t a mistake is a huge first step. I still struggle to find the confidence I wish I had but I am definitely getting there. Talking with my Uni friends, it seems to be a lot better there. The people and the community in general. Such a huge group of people with so many new experiences. I cannot wait to see the growth in me as I progress through college and can finally leave the past trauma of high school behind.