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Transgender high school students share their experiences

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By Ariel Cordova

In the summer of 2000 I was born in Denver, Colo. as Axel Cordova, a biological male.

Fast forward through many years of feeling out of place and abnormal because I liked makeup and Barbie more than monster trucks and video games, you get the current me, Ariel Cordova,a transgender girl and proud.

From point A to B, there was a whole lot of “maybe if I act straight, I’ll be straight”and“maybe I’m just an effeminate gay” moments, none of which were by any means fun. They may have shaped me to become the person I am now, not afraid of anything or anyone, but it left me with issues,too.

Internalized homophobia is a deep disregard for others’ feelings, including my own. Now, I am not saying homophobia as in I hate all LGBTQ+ people, just that I hate myself for being the way I am. Maybe it was being raised Catholic and being taught to have good morals and a love for God, or maybe it was thinking that had my father been there in my childhood I would have turned out “normal.”I might never really know. But I can tell you this, had I not had the experience as a person, my life would most certainly be a lot bleaker and a lot more ignorant.

Growing up, I always knew I was different. My first crush was on that kid from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, so that should have been a big sign. Sports weren’t really my thing and I only ever hung out with my mom or outside with the neighborhood girls.

Eventually as I got older, I got hold of a computer, and figured out I was gay. I proceeded to come out to my mom, who wasn’t really surprised. Even with that weight lifted from me, I still felt like something was wrong.

Around 9th grade, my mother questioned my intense femininity, and said, “You sure you’re not just a girl?” Then everything made sense,and clicked.

We went to see a doctor to ask questions, and a week later I was put on T-blockers, and a week after that, hormones. My doctor gradually upped my dosage throughout the year. My mother found my new identity as trans more fitting, and my peers also responded positively. I even had my name officially changed in the school records!

The following year after 9th grade was my first time stepping into an actual high school,and I was both ecstatic and afraid. I mostly wondered if I would even convincingly pass as female and if others would even like me. All that was easy to shrug off when the new crowd didn’t even notice.

It felt exciting to have this secret almost no one knew about, but it of course went away quickly. Soon anyone who knew me knew what I was, but it wasn’t a big deal, it was just nice to be anonymous for once.

Dating was something I dreaded, but had come to the conclusion that I wasn’t really up for dating. I knew the risks for the other person involved, but if the opportunity should present itself, I set a list of two rules: one being that anyone I date knows and fully understands me and what I am, and two, that the person  be ready for the potential backlash.

Other than that, my life has been that of a normal 16 year old.

I go to class, try to get decent grades, have extracurriculars and electives that interest me and my passions, all just to show people that being trans is just a part of me, but it’s not my entire identity. I am not “Ariel the Trans girl.” I am a lot more. All one has to do is ask, and my words and story spill out faster than can probably be processed.


By Tai Boutviseth

Everyone always questions them- selves growing up.

I was never the feminine type to wear makeup and dresses. I enjoyed looking at them on other girls, just not myself.

By now a lot of people call me Tai; I’m 18 and I was biologically born as a fe- male. At the age of 17, I fully came out to myself; I experienced continuous mental battles that kept holding me back.

Most importantly, I realized I wasn’t happy at all being a tomboy lesbian. It’s a nice title, but it just didn’t feel like me at all.

Before I fully came out to myself, I came out to a close friend of mine to see what their thoughts were. This person accepted me automatically and was so kind about asking me my preferences for name and pronouns.

The stress I carried before was automatically gone now that I could be myself around someone who means so much to me.

My next struggle was with my moth- er, who has always been there for me and raised me as a single parent. Even though I knew she would accept me, there was this constant mental barrier of my mother being disappointed  in her only daughter going away. When I finally came out to her, the only thing she cared about and wanted from me was to be happy. After that, I started my full transition.

Being a trans student at Borah has not caused me any issues compared to other schools.  I’d  say  we  have  it  the easiest

here. A lot of students don’t know what these types of students  go  through;  it’s usually not a challenge for me, but sometimes it can be a struggle.

To make myself feel more comfortable in my body, I use a binder to flatten my chest. Think of just a really tight sports bra you have to wear for eight hours. Everyday.

It becomes painful, and gives me back pains plus chest pains. I do this so I don’t feel insecure about myself; it makes me feel better about myself and more confident than anything.

Four months into my transition, I still struggle constantly with mental battles while at  school, mainly bathrooms.

No one told me I’m not allowed to use them, but every time I need to use one anxiety builds up in me. “What if I am not masculine enough to go into the men’s bathroom? What if I am too masculine to be in the women’s bathroom?” I am fine going into the men’s bath- room in public  places,  because no  one knows me.

At school, I associate with a lot of guys, and I don’t want to make it un- comfortable between us. I don’t want my transition to be a burden to anyone, so I keep it to myself.

High school is a struggle for a lot of trans students, especially in the dating department. Every student wants to find a high school sweetheart. But especially for a trans student, it can be difficult, because it’s often uncertain what your significant other will think.

Transitioning hasn’t changed my personality;  it has just helped me  feel human.

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The student news site of Borah High School
Transgender high school students share their experiences