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Being Trans at school while moving into a new year

Every gender is represented in Sacramento schools.
River Poletti
Every gender is represented in Sacramento schools.

After the holidays and so many family gatherings, many trans and genderqueer teens feel alone and without support. As a fellow queer youth, I understand.

Group situations are tough for many trans youth, such as me, especially when it comes to people who have known you since you were a tiny tot. Coming out as trans is hard, and continuing to talk with people after coming out as trans is equally difficult. There is normally a lack of understanding or acceptance toward genderqueer people, especially youth due to their “lack of experience or age,” something I’ve been told before.

Some families are accepting, some aren’t. Some families are open and try to understand you better, but others refuse even to acknowledge your trans identity.

Holidays are tough, and going into the new year generally follows that same trend. Holidays tend to be a bombardment of insecurity and queerphobic behaviors. Entering the new year can feel impossible when your parents, siblings, extended family, or whoever else who shows up to gatherings decides to say something offhand about your identity. 

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Recently, at a Thanksgiving celebration, I was alone with my extended family. A person made many remarks about my identity, specifically around my presentation as a transmasculine person, that showed a lack of understanding. This clash of worldviews that comes during holidays causes the winter season to be so stressful that I would only normally meet that person if it was for a holiday get-together.

I am only one trans guy, and will not know or be able to relate to everyone’s experiences. However, I hope to give queer youth some advice if you are feeling alone or confused, whether you are out, closeted, or questioning:

Reach out

There will always be people who care about you and want to see you happy, whether that’s friends, family, or educators.

If you have access to the internet and social media, reach out to LGBTQ+-friendly spaces that share similar interests

  • Discord, Instagram, Amino, and other spaces are great for finding like-minded individuals.

If you feel safe enough, go to a LGBTQ+ friendly event or support group, or visit some of the safe websites for LGBTQ+ youth in Sacramento area::

If you feel comfortable enough and there is an organization like it on your school grounds, stop by your Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) or Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) clubs.

Indulge in things you love

Sometimes the people around you aren’t the most beneficial for your mental health and you’ll need to take some time for yourself, generally due to their misunderstanding or lack of support.

Some avenues available to you include reading, writing, drawing, singing, and playing an instrument, or playing games, sports, cosplay, or engaging in whatever your hobbies are – just do them. There’s nothing more important than feeling comfortable with yourself.

Bonding

If you are in a safe enough place, talk often with your family or friends. Creating bridges between cisgender and transgender individuals is important in getting rid of those icky, lonely feelings.

Being able to trust those you love is important. So, if possible, reach out and discuss anything pressing, hopefully lessening the strain that may be felt in a relationship.

These are not end-all-be-all methods, just a few that have helped me for the past couple of years. 

Going into the new year, remember you are the most important person in your life, even if it may not always feel that way. Happy New Year and good luck. You are worth it.

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About the Contributor
River Poletti, Reporter
Hi there! I'm River Poletti, a soon-to-be/current senior during the 2023-2024 school year at Umoja International Academy. I enjoy advocating for the LGBTQ+ community and learning about new cultures and ideas. If I'm not researching, I enjoy reading and listening to music.
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  • V

    Victoria GeisserJan 1, 2024 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and personal solutions! To other transfolk out there, you are not alone, there are more of us than you realize. Even when you’re alone we’re all in this together.

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