Tatum - Transitioning at High School

— By 04 September 2014

How did you Stand Out at your school?
I grew up in a beachside town in Western Australia. It was a pretty chilled out environment. I’m a transgender female, and I’ve been living like this for about 6 months nearly.

The way I’ve stood out against transphobia at my school has been to educate people as much as I can about what being transgender actually means. I found that there has been just so much misinformation on a lot of the basic concepts. Probably the biggest misunderstanding is that sexuality and gender identity are the same thing.

What was the hardest part about Standing Out?
It was scary! When I transitioned at school I started wearing a dress, which was confronting for some people. Some people spread rumours, and that day it felt like every single eye was on me.

Where did you get support?
I spoke to my school councillor who linked me into some organisations that really helped me in my transition, like Minus18. My food tech teacher approached me and told me that she was really proud of me as well. But the biggest support for me came from my family.

What advice do you have for other students wanting to stand out?
Finding the confidence to transition and be myself was so important. Having support is too. Try joining some sexuality and gender diversity groups in your area or online and establish a good support base if possible, like staff at school, friends or family. It’s scary, but for me it was totally worth it.

I’m living how I wanted to live for my whole life. I’m using the girls’ toilets and locker rooms, and I’m treated in the same way as all my female friends are treated. I just feel amazing.

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