My name is Holly. I’m 16 years old, I love to read, write, listen to ska music, go shopping, go out with my friends and boyfriend. I may appear from the outside to be your typical teenage girl. But I wasn’t born a girl at all. I was born with male genitalia.
I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t feel feminine or female. I was taught that it was bad for me, a biological male, to be myself. But inside, I knew I had a fire in my heart and soul that when ignited could be truly breathtaking. Growing up in a small town was always a struggle even before I came out as transgender. Kids would often tease me for not wearing the latest trends or not being ‘‘cool’.’ But I just figured if I couldn’t be myself, there was absolutely no way of expressing myself. I became very depressed and even suicidal.
I was 13 when child services took me away from my alcoholic father and placed me in the foster care system. At first, it was hard adjusting to this completely new environment and a little scary. But eventually, I realized all the benefits of being in the system. I started experimenting with makeup –at first, just subtle eye make up and then eventually foundation and concealer. I started seeing a therapist regulary who helped me understand that I wasn’t alone, that there were other girls like me. I started reading fashion magazines to start seeing what kind of style I liked and eventually found my niche. I started growing out my hair and wearing hair extensions. I was criticized on a daily basis from those closest to me, but I didn’t care, my body was going to match me no matter what!
Sure, I lost friends, but those people were never really my friends to begin with, and I don’t need such negative people in my life. Two years ago, I began going by the name of Holly. Just last year I legally changed my name and sex on my birth certificate (free for California youth). I have grown into my own. Dating was initially very hard until I met Dan, we’ve been together for a while now and are looking forward to our future together.
Now, I’m as happy as can be. I have a wonderful life. A wonderful job, a wonderful boyfriend, and I am happy with myself. Never forget yourself and who you are, even if you have to wait to become who you were meant to be, just know the puzzle pieces will come together.
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