You know, I think I always knew about this one.
When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was play with trucks and trains, and have Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers. The only Barbie doll I ever had, I melted with a magnifying glass. My parents thought I was a tomboy so they went along with it. I loved playing hockey. I started playing at an early age and excelled at goaltending. Every kid on my street played street hockey until nighttime (because of course, in the early 90s there was no technology to kill our brains… Also growing up in Montreal, hockey was everything because of the Montreal Canadiens, especially in 1993). I would play Nintendo with my brother and his friends, and we would go biking everywhere.
When puberty hit was when I started realizing something was wrong. Given that transgender wasn’t a thing you really heard of in the 90s, I had no clue what was going on and fell into a deep depression. We moved out of Montreal when I was 15 because my parents had retired, and they thought a change of scenery would help my mood improve. I remember in high school, reading a magazine and there was a 1-page article on a transgender, female-to-male person and I thought “Man, that person is lucky”… Because I never thought it could happen to me. I don’t even think it clued in at the time that it was even a possibility.
When I went to college for the first time, in Kingston, I met a friend named Devin. He wasn’t Devin at the time, but he confided in me that he was transgender, and I remember saying that I was too, without even thinking about it. I then did a TON of research and realized it could actually be a possibility for me! But then a lot of things happened, including rehab and withdrawing from college, both for the same reason which I don’t want to discuss… And I think it was then that I realized I needed to go through this. I ended up moving to Ottawa, going to college there, reconnecting with my best friend Shadow, and started actually researching the process (with Devin’s help, giving me links to multiple resources, which I’m still really grateful for).
However, I wasn’t ready to come out for a while… Nine years, in fact. I sat there, dwelling on it until 2013. At that point, I had told two people: Devin, and my best friend Alex who died in 2007. But in 2013, when I was on medical leave, I had a revelation that this needed to happen. And I was going to do something about it.