My First Counselor and Why I Never Went Back

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my first counselor, transgender counseling.

I vividly remember everything that happened that visit to the counselor. Let’s just say there was a lot of crying. As a little bit of background, I was 14 at the time and in the week prior to all of this I came out to my parents as transgender. However, what a lot of you may be surprised to hear is that I was actually the one who set this whole visit up. My parents weren’t sending me to any anti-LGBTQ+ person who would slowly convince me at the rate of $70/hour that I should repress my feelings. No. Instead, I wanted to show them how serious I was about coming out and therefore found myself face to face with the truth. You see, I never went back to this counselor because I was trying to run away from the harsh reality only she had the guts to tell me.

I’ve gone over the events that happened that day in my mind time and time again. I can visualize the room as if I were in it right now: I sat on a small sofa, which was a bit too firm for comfort. There were two tissue boxes at arm’s reach and probably a whole stash of them hidden amongst the room. She jumped right into the conversation and I soon was up against questions explaining exactly why I didn’t feel comfortable being someone’s girlfriend or why I never enjoyed typical “girl” clothing. Then, just as we are about to end she holds out both her hands, palms up. They’re empty, but she continues, “I want you to know the reality is you won’t be able to take a blue pill,” she lifts her right hand, “or a pink pill” and the other, “and suddenly wake up tomorrow morning the gender you want to be.” That was it. The magnitude of everything I would have to go through, the sheer length I would have to keep living in this body I so much despised, just all came weighing down on me in one sentence and some imaginary pills. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it was the truth. I never saw her again.

One of the biggest things I say when it comes to transitioning is that you have to learn patience. My first counselor told me the hard reality of what I had in store if I were to transition and I didn’t want to face it. Fast forward 5 years and here I am now. There have been many instances where I had to have the patience that either lasted weeks or years, and this applies to things outside my transition process too. A lot of people have asked me if I ever wished I was born cisgender. For a long time, I did. It would have made my life significantly easier in terms of gender identity. On the other hand, I don’t think I would have been anywhere near the same person I am today. Transitioning, learning, struggling, educating, leading, and having patience re just a small handful of the things I’ve learned through my transition and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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