Xbox Game “Tell Me Why” Gives Trans Teen the Confidence to Be Himself. “I Was Finally in My Skin.”

by Evan

I felt so comfortable and so happy just being me and not having to hide or feel like I'm in the third person in a video game.

I’m Evan, and I’m from Somers, New York. 

When I was younger, I never really felt comfortable with the girly things or wearing dresses, playing with all the girl toys, like dolls. I always preferred superheroes or superhero costumes, especially for Halloween. Every year for Halloween, I was never a girl, never a girl figure. I was always Superman or something. One year I was the Joker. 

Then, in the later years, I was just kind of relaxing. And then I never really felt comfortable and then I went to this wedding that was not that long ago. I was around 10-ish and I felt so weird because I had to wear a dress and makeup. And although everyone was like, “Oh, you look so pretty, you look so beautiful,” not only was I not comfortable with everything I was wearing, I just didn’t feel right and feel in my own space, in my own skin. I sat alone in the corner. I didn’t want to dance, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want people to look at me or anything like that. 

The end of the seventh grade year, I started growing distant from my friends because it was the summer and sometimes people do that. And I started to grow more attached to video games because my parents had bought me an Xbox. And I started playing many games and one of those games was Tell Me Why. And that game happened to feature a transgender character. 

The whole story wasn’t completely about him being transgender, although while I was… It’s a story game, so while progressing throughout the story, I realized how much I related to the character. And then when I started to figure out transgender, that’s an interesting topic. I looked into it and I’m like, “Oh, people can do a lot of things with gender.” And I found out you can switch your gender. That sounds nice. And then I thought about it more deeply. 

Once I finished the game, I honestly had to take some time to just think. And I thought about it for a solid maybe even two hours, just kind of laying there thinking, “Could this be me?” I researched it a little bit more and then I was like, “I think I can relate to this.” And then I knew my sibling, Li, was also having their own little gender journey. And I came out to them thinking, “Oh, I think I’m transgender.” And Li was accepting and I loved Li for it. They were so supportive and they helped me figure it out so much of myself. 

But then I decided to come out to my friends because I was like, “Oh, this is good. I know who I am now.” And I came out to them. And although they sounded supportive, I guess, they never really sat with it, if that makes any sense. They were always kind of just rude about it. They’re like, “Oh look, it’s Evan.” And like, “Oh, that’s nice.” And they never really agreed with it. 

Then, I distanced myself from them and I started to feel a little bit better, but I still felt a little uncomfortable because my parents didn’t know. I wanted to come out to my mom, because I felt uncomfortable about it. And I decided to – my mom was doing work in San Francisco and when we visited her, we happened to visit the Castro, which is a lovely little town. I actually felt really comfortable in that town because there were so many people who were supportive about pride and gay people and LGBTQIA and I just felt so in my skin. When I was there, I actually bought a hat that had BOY on it in capital letters. 

We were driving down to the Castro and we were about to leave, and I was like… I’d just come out and say it. I was like, “I think I’m transgender.” There was silence and we were just casually driving and my parents were happy about it. They were supportive. And then there was a bit of silence and then my mom made my dad pull over and I was a little scared for a second. Like, Oh, they’re pulling over. What’s going to happen? And then my mom opened the car door and proceeded to hug me. And that made it feel so happy and supported and so glad that she was accepting of me. And I told my parents my plans, like, Oh, can I cut my hair? Can I get the binder and stuff like that? 

My mom came back from her work after we were done and on my birthday I decided to cut my hair. It was one of the happiest things. I was smiling because we had to wear a mask at the time. I was smiling so much under my mask, you could see my little grin on my eyes when the lady was cutting my hair. And then later on when eighth grade was about to start, I decided I want to get a binder. And when I bought the binder, we ordered it online and it arrived in the mail and I was so happy. And I put it on and I felt so myself. I felt so glad and I was finally in my skin.

Later on, I was feeling more comfortable. I made new friends who were accepting and relatable. I went to this wedding in the Dominican Republic and at the wedding, the first time I decided to dress up manly. I wore a button up. It was green. It was so pretty. I had wooden buttons, and then I wore little suit shorts. I went to the wedding and then it was a beautiful wedding. When I sat there, it felt so great because I felt so comfortable and so happy just being me and not having to hide or feel like I’m in the third person in a video game.

Everything just kind of went into place, like that puzzle that was always just in the corner, in the closet and you wanted to put it together but you never did. I finally put it together and everything felt perfect and I felt so glad. 

Recently I went to my high school orientation and honestly, that day I just felt so happy because I was finally myself. Everyone knew who I was. I even asked the people to change my name tag to Evan instead of my other name. Then I felt so happy and so in my place.

Now it’s like the tide has switched and everything’s different. I’m so happy about it now, and I’m really glad that I’ve discovered this because now I feel like I can finally be myself and truly who I want to be.

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