Interview with Ryan:
So, we got the pleasure to interview Ryan, Ryan is a transgender FTM (female to male) music enthusiast.
Okay, here we go. When/how did you realise that you were a boy? And what emotions and feelings were connected to that?
I remember questioning my gender a lot once I got into seventh grade and eight grade and soon I started to get confused and even scared about it. Until I found a few role models or people who had influenced me a lot and educated me (on what it’s like to be transgender,e.t.c). So I slowly started to push my self away from feminine things (clothes, items, pronouns, e.t.c) and I tried they/them and more gender neutral things at first to become more comfortable, and then I eased more into masculine things and associating myself with masculine things. So soon I be went by he/him and identified as male.
Yeah, I mean, now we have a lot of idols who are transgender ,e.t.c-and it’s really cool to see their influence! But-how did you tell your parents? Or did you not tell them? And how did they react?
Well, I first tried to come out to my mom around July last year. It was very scary for me because she wasn’t that educated on the LGBT+ community so she didn’t take the news very well and told me it was a ‘phase’ and I was ‘too young to know’ but I tried to push hateful things aside and keep expressing myself and how I feel.
So around New Year, for my new years resolution, I told myself I’d come out to everyone because I’m tired of hiding it all. I made a post on Facebook and came out to a few on Twitter and now everyone knows including my friends and family.
It felt so great to have it off my chest and a lot of the comments and likes were positive. I finally felt a little better on accepting myself and the reactions. But, then my mom called the next day, telling me she was upset about why I posted it and said how is was ‘drama’. I was hurt and fell into a state of depression. Then, she found out why I was so sad and talked to me about the whole thing. She told me she did accept me and did love me-and even said she knows I can’t change how I feel-that I was born the way I am. She made a sort of ‘agreement’ on it. She told me that she call me her son, by he/him, Ryan, e.t.c-if I legally got my name changed. I still haven’t done that yet but I plan to soon.
I wish I could hug you right now [laughs]. You are so brave though! I wouldn’t have been able to do that. I think that older generations still need to be educated. I was hoping to present this interview somehow? Mainly toward the older generation? Because, as you mentioned with your mum, she didn’t know a lot about it.
Okay, so I was wondering, how did you pick the name Ryan? Was it to do with Ryan Ross? because I know we both love him [laughs].
[laughs] Actually a little bit did have to do with Ryan Ross [laughs]!
I had been through a long list of names trying to pick which one felt right and I finally settled on Ryan. I don’t really know why it stuck, but it did. I knew it would be the same as ‘Ryan Ross’ (as you can tell) as he’s been such a big inspiration to me and one of my favourite role models whom I look up to. I thought how much I loved Panic! At The Disco and the lengths he’d gone just for the band and to be in it. I felt I could kinda relate with being trans-how I wasn’t gonna let my mum’s negativity and misunderstanding get the best of me and I’d still be myself. And, like, I’m not saying find your favourite band member or role model and steal their name [laughs] but just find one with meaning. Something that fits you and what you like.
Yeah. I think, if I were a guy and was like ‘what should my name be?’ I would probably pick, like, Ryan or Gerard or something. [laughs]
Yes [laughs]. That’s exactly how I felt. I went through so many names and half of them were actually band members [laughs].
That would definitely be me! [laughs] So, do you see, maybe, sharing your story as something to do in your future? Like a public speaker that helps trans kids and those in the LGBT+ community?
Ahh yes! I would definitely! I’d love to help others figure themselves out and give them more advice. And for older generations, I’d like to educate them on what the LGBT+ community is all about.
Oh my god-I’m excited for you career [laughs]! So, do you have any advice for kids in the LGBT+ community on self acceptance, coming out, e.t.c?
Ahh yes! I was confused and scared about coming out to myself. It felt almost surreal. It’s like baby steps, you figure out how you feel or identity as. And you think it through-for me the things I told myself or asked myself were ‘is that what you truly want?’ and ‘Do you want to be this way for the rest of your life?’ and it sounds scary when you ask yourself at the time. But you’ll feel relieved when you figure out what you truly feel and it’s right for you. And that’s okay if you identify as one thing but then change your mind later and identify as another! I’ve done that until I felt most comfortable.
And what I did (it’s kind of cheesy)-I remember figuring it all out. I looked at myself in the mirror and kept repeating to myself ‘I’m a boy’. It felt different and bizarre but also right. And I’m not saying go out and tell yourself in the mirror or stuff. That’s just something that helped me cope with it. Go at your own pace, and you’ll be fine in the end.
And as for coming out, you don’t have to rush it or feel pressured. When you feel ready to, come out to be people that you know will accept and be comfortable with it all. For me, that was my closest friends. Then, when people are used to the news-keep them updated as well. Tell them what pronouns you’d like to be called (when you’re ready), what name-and if you want to keep your pronouns or name, that’s okay too! Once they are comfortable with you and you are ready, come out to others you feel safe around. And if you’re maybe living in a home you know won’t be accepting-I’d say have patience and hope. You don’t want to be in a bad situation when coming out. Such as, an argument. Especially in a place where you know you could get hurt-because those could lead to the wrong interpretation.
You can come out in any sort of way-a letter, verbal, even a cake [laughs]-just as long as you get your point across clearly. It’s scary but you’ll feel so relieved in the end.
That’s really good advice! I remember this YouTube video popped up on my home screen about different ways to come out and one was, the guy wrote I’M GAY on the bottom of a mug and kept drinking out of it [laughs].
Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your story! I hope you can write for us in the future! Bye!
Omg-that’s something I would do [laughs]. And thank you so much for letter me answer questions. I enjoyed it!