When one transgender man finally started his transition, he felt empowered. Subsequently, he began posting about his journey on the internet. However, little did he know that sharing his photos online would lead his family to desert him.
Jaimie Wilson, 21, is a transgender man who lives in Florida. The musician was assigned female at birth and grew up with a traditional family on a Michigan horse farm. However, it didn’t take long for Wilson to realize something wasn’t right.
“I knew from an early age that I felt ‘different.’ But, growing up in a religious household, I was sheltered… [I] didn’t really know anything about being transgender,” Wilson told Cosmopolitan in March 2017. “I just remember being as young as five and thinking I was going to grow up to be a guy.”
As Wilson grew into a teenager, he realized he actually identified as male. However, his family’s conservative views made it difficult for him to come out as transgender. As a result, he first told his family he was a lesbian.
In fact, Wilson is actually pansexual. This means he believes you can be in love with an individual, whatever their gender. However, he thought presenting himself as a lesbian would give him an idea of his family’s attitudes to LGBT issues.
And, although they accepted his sexual orientation, they were more concerned with the way he presented himself. “My mom actually said to me, ‘I don’t care if you like girls. But why do you have to dress like a man?’” Wilson told Cosmopolitan.
Although presumably disappointed by their desire for him to adhere to a certain gender identity, Wilson respected his family’s wishes. But, in 2015, the then-teenager decided to change his appearance to be more in line with his authentic self.
So Wilson decided to cut his hair short. He hoped his family would respect his decision. But, according to him, they “made life so unbearable.” So much so that Wilson was forced to leave home and went to live with a friend.
The haircut marked the first step on Wilson’s gender transition. “It was one of the happiest moments of my life,” he explained on his YouTube channel in June 2017. “I finally felt like me.”
However, while he was happier than ever, his parents and three brothers did not accept his decision. “I was not welcome back home,” he recalled. “I was banned from going there because of what people might think.”
However, his decision to finally live as his authentic self-empowered Wilson. As a result, he began sharing his transition on Instagram and YouTube. And, for the first time, he opened up about how he’d felt trapped in a woman’s body.
“I looked super happy but I was dealing with more than people knew,” Wilson revealed in a video. “I didn’t feel like a girl. When I was alone I would tuck my hair in a hat. But around family and friends, I felt pressured to be a ‘pretty girl.’”
In June 2015 Wilson began taking testosterone shots. The male hormone injections would help transform his body to better align him with with his gender identity. As a result, after just five months on the hormone, Wilson was sporting a number of typically masculine attributes such as a deeper voice and facial hair.
And after two years on hormone replacement therapy, Wilson had completely transformed. He now had the body he felt he’d belonged in from birth. However, not everyone coulee deal with his new, typically-masculine look.
In fact, some of his family and old friends couldn’t accept Wilson’s gender identity. And he believed it was because they had seen him as very “girly” in the past. According to Wilson, he had not been the type of person people would expect to transition.
“Everyone in my town knew me as this beautiful country girl,” he explained to Cosmopolitan. “When I started transitioning, people couldn’t believe it. They thought I was having a mental breakdown or something. People thought I was a freak.”
Later, Wilson took to his Instagram page to expand on the subject further. In his update, he posted a picture of himself pre-transition besides a recent photo. In the older picture, he is posing in nothing but lingerie.
“I am posting this picture to show that not everyone has to show ‘signs’ to be transgender,” he wrote. “You don’t have to pass a test to prove you’re trans and you sure as hell don’t need anyone’s approval but your own.”
“When I came out, people refused to believe I was a man because of how ‘feminine’ I presented for 18 years,” he added. “I want people to see it doesn’t matter what some [one] looks like, if someone has the guts to tell you, ‘I’m transgender,’ ‘I’m gay,’ ‘I’m bisexual,’ anything like that, please believe them and be there for them because stereotypes need to be broken.”
Today, Wilson is an advocate for other transgender people. He wants everyone to understand that each transition is personal to the person. And, even if you lose some people along the way, you gain someone very special: your true, authentic self.