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Seattle, WA

Jason grew up off a gravel road in a rural part of Mississippi with Southern Baptist parents, and he remembers that in his community, there weren’t too many gay or lesbian people, let alone someone who is transgender. “The subject of ‘those kinds’ of people was taboo, which meant that I lived in constant fear of being labeled insane and I was always careful to walk the thin tightrope of rebellion and compliance,” Jason said. “Inside, I was heartbroken and angry. I couldn’t understand why I was being punished and forced to live like a girl, someone I wasn’t. I kept wondering, why isn’t anyone helping me?”

Jason is a transgender man, meaning that he was born and raised as a girl, but expressed and understood from a young age that he is male. As a teenager, he became even more confident that he is not female, and so after struggling with a mental breakdown and withdrawing from friends and family, he saw a psychologist, who shared information about what it means to be transgender. “It was the first time in my life that I knew I wasn’t mentally ill, that other trans people existed and living longer might actually pay off,” Jason said, explaining that he ultimately transitioned to live as the man he has long known himself to be, and now he is much happier. “I slowly began to build a life I wanted: friends, a girlfriend, a job, a more successful attempt at college.”

Read More Stories By:  TRANSform Washington

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