Being Trans, Bi and Still Standing
Questioning your sexuality can be confusing at the best of times. Add to that uncertainty about your gender and that’s, well, a whole lot to deal with as a teen. NCS grad Frankie shares his own experience – from telling family and friends to coming to terms with it himself.
When I was younger, I wasn’t aware of bisexuality at all. I had a friend who was gay and that’s about it. I didn't know what to think when I realised I fancied my best friend in primary school, who was a girl. My first thing I thought was, “what’s wrong with me!”
Several years later I decided to look further into it and asked lots of people at my college about it. It’s what led me to Birmigham Pride, where I bought a bisexual flag and came out as bisexual. The lucky thing was my parents didn't care – in a good way – and that was the best thing in the world, knowing I wouldn't have to argue with them about it. It didn’t bother my friends either, especially my two best friends who are both pansexual – they just wanted me to be out and proud!
A couple of years later I was watching a programme on TV about being transgender and I saw loads of similarities in myself. I dismissed it as being nothing but the more I dwelled on it, the more I realised that deep down, I wanted to be a boy.
I spoke to my best friend about it at the time and originally we thought I was gender fluid because I really wasn't sure if it was just a phase – as everyone told me it was – or if I really did want to be a boy.
Regardless, I went to Walsall Pride and came out as gender fluid, however something didn't feel right. The more I thought about it, the more I just wanted to be a normal teenage boy. I tried to be over-girly but that just made it worse!
All my friends were really supportive and after a couple of months I came out as transgender and socially changed my name. I literally felt like a weight had lifted off my shoulders and I felt like I could start to be myself.
Coming out to people my age was a bit easier but I was still really nervous. And if you are confused yourself, it's hard to talk to other people about it. I then spoke to my tutor at college who was amazing. She really respects what I want, calls me by the name I want and is probably the one person who deals and helps with it better than anyone else.
To be honest, so many thoughts go through your head when you come out; ‘What are people going to think?’ is probably the main one, but after building my confidence I'm now really open about it.
People at college adapted really well and they all treat me like one of the lads, which makes me feel a lot more comfortable. And if I ever do feel uncomfortable then I always know my best friend is by my side for support. My social life hasn't really changed because if people are true friends then they will accept you no matter your gender or sexuality!
My family didn't take it as well, but slowly they are adjusting to it. I feel like it will be a long process so I don’t expect them to accept it straight away.
My advice to anyone wanting to come out is: Firstly, pick the right time. Secondly, being honest and open is the best policy. Thirdly, it’s important to give it time. People may not come round and accept it straight away so you may need to be patient with them. Finally, be persistent and be true to you – if people are being negative for example, don’t give up and pretend you were making it up. BE BRAVE AND BE PROUD!