April 19, 2023
“I Live in a Gray Area”: Being a Trans High School Student Without Support
By Eleanor Buchanan
As a transgender minor with deeply conservative parents, I’m unable to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria. But I still found my name and community.
By Spencer Katz
After I cut my hair short for the first time, a friend at school saw me. “You look like a boy,” he said. It felt validating—especially coming from a boy—and it started to click that maybe I wasn’t the girl I thought I was.
A few nights later, I sat cross-legged on the bed in my dark room, illuminated by the screen of my laptop. A quick Google search had provided the further validation I was seeking: “Why do I feel like a boy if I’m a girl?”
I’m “transgender.” That’s the word my laptop told me.
The definition—a person whose gender identity does not correspond with the sex assigned to them at birth—described why I felt so out-of-place in my own body. I had always felt this way, but the slight feeling of unease escalated to full-fledged dread as I went through puberty and entered middle school. I was a 12-year old who had built my entire personality on what was expected of girls—dresses, makeup, and boys—when I had no idea who I was.