If someone were to ask me four years ago to document my transition for the world to see I probably would have called them, foolish. Back then even the thought of that terrified me beyond belief. Doing such a thing would surely increase my chances of being a victim of a hate crime, not to mention, I thought, it would be sort of bizarre. I found comfort in the internet for my transition but I would have never imagined putting it all over the internet for anyone else to see, let alone the world. I used to browse the internet anonymously and I hid my transition from everyone I possibly could. Tumblr was the only place I could be myself, especially for the first year of my transition when still no one really knew I was transgender. The transgender community on Tumblr was thriving and I quickly made numerous likeminded friends, and even more inspirations.
For many trans people the internet has been a saving grace, particularly for those who aren’t open about it. When you live in a rural area like I do, even now there isn’t much of a transgender support system, so sometimes that is the only option. I spent my days finding information and watching vloggers on Youtube, and being Claire primarily on Tumblr. Even after coming out and transitioning to “full time Claire” I resided within those two communities. I was myself on Facebook but I was too petrified to talk about anything. I just wanted to blend in and be a “regular” girl.
It wasn’t until about six months ago; when I was in a deep depression from self-hate that I had my epiphany. I realized that the only way for me to battle the dysphoria and accept myself was to open up and be proud of who I am. Hiding was getting me nowhere and I was desperate to escape the darkness within my mind. After so long of having other transgender people inspire me I also thought that maybe I could be that inspiration to someone? That’s such a bold thing to say but my only intentions were the thoughts of helping some transgender kid to feel encouraged to live on and not hate themselves like I did. The world hating us is enough weight to bare as an adult, as a child it’s nearly impossible.
Since then I have been dedicated to having a voice and being as involved in this civil rights movement as I can be. I now speak up when I see hatred online or in person. So much has changed for me since the beginning of my transition. I never would have dreamed of getting into debates on Youtube with uneducated people back then. Though the positivity surrounding me has been invigorating, I do still receive my fair share of hatred from people. Being open about being transgender is dangerous in the world we currently live in. This is why I want to do as much as I can to ensure that the future generations of transgender individuals don’t have to feel so isolated, alone, and hated.