I always had this feeling that something wasn’t right, but for much of my early years I couldn’t figure out what it was. My parents pushed me towards typically male things, like sports, and I learned to enjoy them. However, I still naturally wanted to do some of the more feminine activities and my friendship groups were mostly female. It wasn’t until I began crossdressing that I realised what that wrong feeling was. By the time I had realised that though, my mum had found out about my crossdressing and criticised me for it saying, “you are not a girl”. This lack of acceptance caused me to feel like I couldn’t show this side of me and so I suppressed it. This resulted in me suffering with mental illness, mostly depression. My discomfort in presenting as male came back several times but each time I proceeded to suppress it once more. It wasn’t until I became friends with someone that was lesbian that I became comfortable enough to be more comfortable and accepting of who I am and so I came out to her as bisexual. However, after a few months I felt that label didn’t fit and so I used gay instead. Not long after this though my gender dysphoria came back again and so I decided this time to embrace my identity rather than continue suppressing it. So, when I got to Uni I began presenting as female and picked a new name for myself.
I found out about Off the Record at one of their events and proceeded to get 1:1 support to help me with this big change in my life. This led to me attending SPACE and Activists. Since then I have officially changed my name through deed poll, been placed on the gender identity clinic waiting list, and been involved in many projects with Off the Record. Without Off the Record I wouldn’t have grown as a person anywhere near as much as I have done. I value of their work is invaluable and I appreciate and am so thankful for all they have done for me. They truly are a fantastic group of people and are always there to help support the people that access their service in any way that they can.