BY CAMERON, they/them, Noble Street College Prep student
Hi! My name is Cameron. I am no different from any other teenager. I love to play video games, draw, skate, and hang out with my friends. But some people look at me or treat me differently because of the way I look, present myself, or act.
I am a proud transgender male. I’m proud to be transgender because I want to represent and motivate other teenagers who also want to be themselves in school. We shouldn’t have to be viewed any differently from anyone else just for being us. So, I wanted to share my story:
Before coming to Noble, I was really confused about my identity. Coming from a homophobic household, I felt I was forced to be a certain way and be someone I didn’t even feel comfortable being. I remember telling my grandma about pronouns and she would say that “those aren’t real” or saying that “Gen Z just comes out with anything”. It made me really discouraged and made me not want to be myself.
My time at Noble Street College Prep changed that.
Freshman year at Noble Street was the first year I was openly out about my identity in school. I decided to be more open about my identity because I wanted people to get to know me for who I truly was early on. That first year was hard for me, though. I was scared because of the COVID lockdown; I hadn’t been in a big school environment (or any big environment for that matter) in a while. On top of that, I was really worried about how people would view me, especially being a transgender person of color. I didn’t think there would be a lot of people like me who were out. I knew looking or presenting myself “differently” from most of the people in my school would be something that would take me a while to get used to.
However, even though we were on Zoom that first year, I felt like I was starting to form connections with a few of my teachers. That was really important for me because, as I got to know them, I felt more comfortable being myself.
When I felt comfortable enough, I told my closest friends how I felt about my identity. They were my biggest support systems. They let me know that they would still stay with me, no matter what I identified as. My best friend, who goes to another Noble school as well, has gone through some of the same things. We always lean on each other for support. Having someone you can depend on in your journey is honestly the most important thing.
Coming out to my friends wasn’t too hard for me. If I felt disrespected by them after telling them who I truly was, I would just respect their decision and cut them out of my life. I knew that if they were my true friends, they would stick with me no matter what because being yourself isn’t abnormal. Never belittle yourself for anyone else’s approval. I had a childhood friend who acted very immature after I told him about how I felt. Saying that “I was doing it for a trend” or saying “you know that’s not how you really feel.” Like, it was all some hilarious joke to him. It sucked that it turned out that way. We had a really tight bond or so I thought we did. But, I realized that I didn’t need that toxicity in my life.
Over the years, I’ve made a lot of new friends who are just like me. We all accept each other and value respect in our friendships. They’ve helped me a lot with feeling comfortable being myself as well. I know they aren’t gonna judge me since they have gone through things just like me.
One of my main support systems was (and still is) my school counselor. At the beginning of sophomore year, she helped me a lot by making me feel comfortable being myself and with coming out in school to my teachers and friends as well. I was honestly really scared and was worried about how other people would react to it. She calmed me down and made me feel like a normal person. She didn’t treat me any differently for being transgender.
My teachers and friends, for the most part, have respected my changes and gotten used to them. I feel like I can always share my struggles with any of my teachers or friends and they would be supportive and try their best to help me. They’ve made me want to go to school so much more every day.