LOOK LIKE YOURSELF

THEIR STORIES: Logan

When did you realize you don't relate to your birth gender?

I always thought I was a boy when I was very young.  My sister Kelly is 18 months younger than me and looking back I truly thought I was a boy and she was a girl.  My mom would dress us in “matching” clothes sometimes and I would insist upon the blue pants version of whatever the outfit was.  She would get dolls and princess things as gifts and I would get He-man and Transformer toys.  My parents were really accepting of my preferences and just really allowed me to do what I wanted for the most part.  Being that it was the early 80s and they are both Roman Catholic looking back I really was blessed with how open to me they were.

The earliest memory I have of actually being aware that something was “off” was a conversation I had with my mom when I was probably about 5 or 6.  I was obsessed with Santa Claus at that time, obsessed all year round.  I had a “workshop” in my parent’s attic and would make toys and I wanted to be Santa Claus when I grew up.  I remember my mother coming up to check on me and I told her I wanted to be Santa Claus when he died, which I figured would be soon because he looked old, and she responded by saying, “I couldn’t be Santa Claus I could be Mrs. Claus” to which I responded, “No, I will be Santa Claus and I will have a Mrs. Claus.”  The look of like “umm what the heck how do I respond to this” on her face made me realize something was off.  These types of conversations happened frequently when I was a young, me being told basically, that I’m not a boy.  

How did you deal with that mentally & physically?

When I was a kid I did my best to dress in stereo typically male clothes when I had the option. I went to Catholic school though so… skirts.  All my toys and things were for boys, I played boys tee ball, I was a regular boy in my mind except that at some point I realized everyone else thought I was a girl and that my body was a girl body so I had to pretend to be one.  That’s still how I feel most of the time. It’s only pretty recently I decided I don’t have to pretend.  I remember pretty frequently sneaking into my parent’s room when my mom was making dinner before my father was home from work. Opening his armoire and putting on his jeans and old worn out tee shirts and checking myself out in the mirror and feeling so happy with myself in those moments despite being worried someone would catch me.  These feelings always gave me some level of anxiety and contributed to me being insanely shy as a kid.  I then had a period for like 2 or 3 years maybe 7th grade to freshman year where I truly tried to be a girl and date boys.  This didn’t work out very well.  Once I hit high school age I found it much easier to be myself for some reason. I was introduced to the concept of “gay people” and I had my first girlfriend. People started calling me a “dyke” (not in a nice way) and I tried to own that. For a long time I did.  It made way more sense than anything else ever had.  I felt like I had a word like a name for my identity.  A few years ago and started thinking more about things and my identity and I realized I am in fact transgender, not a “dyke” and realized the impact this, and my “pretending to be a girl” has had on my life.  I always thought I had to just accept things as they were, and just pretend and go with it and that everyone else should just do the same and accept things too.  I remember being jealous of people that I knew personally that would transition like it seemed unfair or like “cheating” to me because it seemed so impossible for me. I never thought I would have the courage to do anything about any of these feelings. I then realized that wasn’t the case and you can be who you are, I am brave enough, and people will love me anyway, and that I can be who I am.

Give me glimpse of the inside you verse your outward appearance.

Well, I mean, in my mind I resemble a younger Johnny Depp, that’s definitely how I look on the inside, hahaha.  Sometimes I feel like I come across much “harder” than I am if that makes sense, especially at first with strangers.  I have been around the block and can be really guarded or tough presenting (or I try to be anyway).  In reality I’m the complete opposite of that.  I’m very sensitive, I love everyone, I try not to hurt anyone’s feelings and if I do I feel bad about it for all of eternity.

How would you prefer people to address you? pronouns, preferred name etc

I have recently, past 6 months asked people to start calling me Logan and use male pronouns.  This was sooooo difficult for me, coming out as transgender and then asking for this. I truly felt like it was possible that I would lose, well, everything. This, especially the pronoun aspect, just feels 1000 times more comfortable and fitting to me.  This was so stressful for me though, more than anything I have ever done. Everyone has been really great about it to my surprise, even at work.

What does gender identity mean to you?

To me that just really references a person’s personal experience of their own gender.  “Identity” is a really personal thing and I feel like each individual human has their own unique identity and “gender identity” is no different.  It’s a personal thing and for me exploring my own gender identity the past few years has been a really eye opening internal exploration, it’s really allowed me to get to know, love, and finally truly be able to accept myself.

Was there someone in your life that helped you start to see your authentic/true self? Tell me about how they helped you/who they are/

Yes, actually my partner Mash.  She is a gender queer non binary lovely human being and she has allowed me the freedom in this relationship and in life to feel that I can fully explore my own gender identity and still be loved and supported by a partner in that exploration, which has been great.  Even down to my first experience with binding and getting to see how that felt looking at myself in the mirror with me in her binder.  It gave me that same feeling I used to get looking at myself as a kid in my dad’s clothes.  That aspect of my body was always something I didn’t associate with.  I would always refuse to wear a bra saying that I don’t have to because I’m a boy.  I finally gave in and started wearing a too small sports bra in my late 20’s.  Seeing myself in the binder made me realize more than ever how much I wanted top surgery and Mash was more than supportive with that whole process of my surgery too.  I feel like she sees and always has seen who I am inside.  I feel like she, more than anyone else I have yet to encounter sees me as I see myself.  When we first started spending time together I remember her saying that I should be her husband almost in a joking manner, this was before I came out as transgender before I asked for male pronouns, and that made me feel like she really did see me for me.  I agree that I should be her husband.  I couldn’t be luckier, truly with the family and partner I have been blessed with and how smoothly coming out as transgender has gone for me.

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