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Gender and Sexuality

Gender identity can be really complicated for some people, but for others it is simple and the most obvious thing in the world!  Some people will never need any advice around their gender or sexuality, but even if gender is easy for you just remember it might not be easy for other people you know or the people you are attracted to.  

This page gives you some of the words people use to describe their gender and tells you what these words mean.  It is definitely ok for you feel that identifying your gender and sexuality is a journey, you don’t need to make a decision today and things may change over time, especially whilst hormones are affecting your feelings during puberty.

Just remember, gender and sexuality are protected characteristics.  This means it is illegal to discriminate against someone because of the gender they identify with or because of their sexuality.

How I became the person I am today.

Hi, I’m Matt and this is my story of how I became me. When I was little I wasn’t like the other children. I always knew I was different. I was born female at birth, simple right? Wrong, that was the problem. I was born female. Growing up I always wanted to play with boy toys wear boy clothing and have a boy’s haircut. I was some what of a tomboy. Pretty normal thing. A phase that children go through. But that phase didn’t go away. I hated wearing dresses and being dressed up like a girl. I felt trapped. All I wanted to do was cry. My family ignored my feelings and forced me to dress, act and look like a girl. It was the worst.

When I went to primary school things didn’t get any easier. Things got worse. I didn’t fit in. I didn’t like playing with girls, but I liked playing football with the boys, but the boys thought it was weird that I was playing with them so most of the time they didn’t let me play with them. Other peers from my year would ask if I am a girl or boy and I wanted to say boy, but I couldn’t. I got bullied for being different. 

Then as I was finishing Year 6 and going into Year 7 I started puberty. Everything got worse. I started to turn into a young woman. I hated it. I wanted to be a boy. I wanted to turn to a young man. My body was female, but my brain was male. I was like a war within me. I hated my chest. It made me look female. It was always in my way, it wasn’t part of me. People in secondary school rejected me because I was different. I was alone. So, I grew out my hair and tried make up to fit in with the other girls but that made it worse. I hated my body and my gender and the way that I looked. I was in a dark place. For some time, I liked girls, I thought that was the answer. I was gay. So, I came out to my mum and she accepted me despite all odds. But it still didn’t feel right. I was happy that I didn’t have to hide my sexuality but there was still something wrong.

In Year 8 I met a person that had really helped and flipped my world around. They told me that there were different genders and sexualities. So, I experimented with different names because I hated my birth name. That friend then said that I might be transgender. I was disgusted at that idea at first. The reason why I was disgusted was because of my family’s views on the LGBT community. My family was very against the LGBT and hated the idea that I was gay at the time. They were very closed minded. But as I did more research into the transgender topic I felt relieved. Everything started to fall into place. I finally found out why I felt like this. It was because I was transgender. 

I told my friends to call me by male pronouns and to start to use my preferred name which is Matthew. I was so much happier. A couple weeks later I came out to my mum, she accepted me. It was hard as I was scared thinking I’m going to be kicked out. I came out in school and I am so happy that the school supported me, but I was badly bullied. Peers in my school called me names and made fun of me. (I still get verbal abuse and hate till this day from people that used to go to my primary school and secondary school and from random people on the streets.) They were happy to help me through my transition and they have throughout my time at that school. After coming out to my mum I got referred to the gender clinic and soon after I got my name changed legally. 

Now I am living my life as male full time. I am also much more confident and compatible with myself. I am also currently medically transitioning to be male physically. I am happy to be the person I am today, and I am so thankful for all the support that I got from my friends, family and teachers. I still have dark days but I look to the bright future that’s ahead of me. I had a tough journey so far and there is a lot that awaits me in the future, but I am the person I was always meant to be. Today I am trying to spread awareness for people whom may be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and or Transgender. Don’t be scared to be yourself, show your colours. Be happy and be yourself. 

This is my journey, what is yours? 

Thank you.

Matt - Year 11 Student

How I became the person I am today

Written by: Katrina Sealey

Specialist School Nurse Runnymede

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