Emily is 21 and transgender: read her story

The first thing I should point out is that being transgender is not ‘a phase’, it’s not ‘just being confused’ and it’s definitely not a choice. It’s a natural part of who we are, and we should be accepted for that.

It’s time to talk about the wondrous world of being transgender. First let’s define it; a transgender person is someone who’s gender identity is different to that of their birth sex. This means that if someone was born female, and identifies as male, they’re transgender. I’m a transgender woman. I haven’t undergone surgery or taken hormones yet, but I’ve transitioned socially. This means that I’m known as Emily, and I always introduce myself as Emily.


The first signs were just a general feeling of not fitting in. I started feeling this around 14 but I didn’t know what being transgender was at the time. I felt like this for a couple years before I heard about transgender people through a tv programme. Hearing how they described themselves and how they felt, switched something on in my head. I started to look more into what it means to be transgender and the more I looked, the more I realised who I was.  I didn’t feel safe coming out straight away, and I didn’t tell anyone that I was transgender until I moved in with my carer. She was so kind and accepting and I felt comfortable enough with her to tell her how I felt. She helped me along my journey, even giving me lots of her old clothes. It may not have seemed like much, but it gave me the opportunity to feel comfortable and the confidence to present as female in public.


There are lots of worries that transgender people have when presenting as their gender identity in public. For me, these were confrontation, non-acceptance and the breakdown of relationships. Luckily, the problems I did have were manageable and nowhere near as bad as I imagined them. I still get the odd quizzical look and unfortunately there are still people out there who aren’t accepting, but my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive.


The next steps of my transition are to have an appointment with the Gender Clinic so I can receive hormones. I’m on the waiting list, but unfortunately there’s a very long wait, currently estimated at four years. I also plan to get my name and gender marker changed by deed poll, which is a big step for me.


I’m now in an amazing place, surrounded by so many accepting people. I’ve got friends who support me and even some who are in the LGBTQ+ community who’ve had similar experiences. I know I’ve been extremely fortunate and it’s not always the case. Not everyone has the same experiences and there isn’t ever a ‘right way’ to transition or come out.


If you’d like more information about LGBT+ resources, you may find these useful:

Intercom Trust: 

Tel: 0800 612 3010

Website: https://www.intercomtrust.org.uk

Not Alone: 

Website: www.notaloneplymouth.co.uk

Safe Haven: 

Website: https://www.intercomtrust.org.uk/directory/cornwall/safe-haven