This isn’t a political message. It’s a personal one. I pray that you will listen. No matter who you are or what you believe, I hope you can put that aside for a moment and listen to my story.
My name is Luke. I’m sixteen and I’m transgender. I know that word has been politicized, but try and put that aside for a moment.
When I was around thirteen I reached an all time low in my life. I’ve always had mental health struggles, but that time in my life was nothing short of torture. I could barely leave my room without severe panic attacks. I barely left my bed. My parents were so worried about me. I was in therapy and on a lot of different antidepressants, but nothing could fix me. I felt like I was falling through emptiness. There was nothing around to grab onto and the fall was never ending. It came to the point where I would rather crash into earth than keep falling. I was cutting my own skin to feel something. Multiple times I tried to take my own life. I thought even death would be better than that level of misery. I felt so disconnected from myself. I think many of us know the feeling of looking in the mirror and hating what we see. I could barely even hate my reflection. It didn’t feel like my body or my life. I was such a young kid and I was going through an unbelievable amount of pain.
At some point I was exposed to what it meant to be transgender and that really resonated with me. I did research, but was scared to label myself as that. I knew that the reality of being trans meant facing violence and persecution for the rest of my life.
Fast forward a few years and I finally tell everyone in my life to call me Luke and to refer to me as a boy. As cliche as it may sound, a weight was lifted off my chest. Everything felt brighter. I felt loved in a way I never had before. People knew the real me and they were still there for me. For the first time in years, I had hope for the future. I wasn’t scared anymore. I was excited to live as myself
It’s been about a year since then and I’m still completely happy with my decision to transition. I’ve been able to go off some of the antidepressants because of how much transitioning helped me. I have started hormone replacement therapy and I absolutely love it. I feel like myself. I feel comfortable in my body and I’ve started wearing clothes that make me happy instead of just baggy sweatshirts. I know for a fact that I will never regret transitioning. It made my life worth living. If any politicians are reading this or anyone who has some kind of influence, please just let decisions on transgender youth be made by them, their parents, and their doctors.
Transitioning saved my life. If you force me to live as a girl, you will be killing me.