“I look in the mirror and I know who I am.”

Transgender student shares story of transitioning

Courtney Carpenter, Co-Editor

Staring at himself in the mirror, junior Adrian Marsh said he never felt as if the person staring back was him. After struggling with his identity as a biologically-born girl, Marsh came out as transgender wanting to transition to a maleScreen Shot 2016-08-19 at 9.20.18 AM

Throughout his childhood, however, Marsh said he never categorized or viewed himself as a girl.

“When I was little, I always just thought of myself as a simply a kid,” Marsh said. “It didn’t matter then if I was a boy or a girl, I honestly thought of myself as neither, I was just a kid enjoying life.

Marsh said he struggled with depression and self-acceptance throughout middle school. He said he always felt uneasy with who he was, but he didn’t understand his feelings until high school when he originally found out what the term transgender entailed.

“Until I got to highschool, specifically my freshman year, I didn’t really even know what transgender meant,” Marsh said. “I was so confused about what I was feeling. I did some research, and found out there was a term for the way I was. I remember trying so hard to be something I wasn’t, trying so hard to fit in. It never worked. As I learned more about transgender people, it was such a relief to realize I didn’t have to be stuck this way forever. To actually have options, I couldn’t even describe how I felt. I had no idea about transitioning and what that included, so I remember doing so much research, feeling so excited about the future.”

Confident in himself and what he wanted, Marsh told his parents he wanted to transition to a male his freshmen year. Marsh said his family’s reaction was reluctant at first.

“I told my mom, and she was not happy,” he said. “She used to say that she felt like her child had died and there was a stranger walking around her house. She felt like she didn’t know me. She kept saying ‘This is a phase, it’s a phase.’ She told all of my siblings it was a phase, and even they, for a while, were really unsupportive.”

Now, a year-and-a-half since Marsh originally came out to his parents, Marsh said his family is much more accepting and supportive of who he is.

“They’re finally understanding that this is not any kind of phase — it’s me,” Marsh said. “I’m so lucky though, to have parents that are at least starting to understand. Of course they still love me — they didn’t kick me out of the house or anything. My parents don’t force me to wear anything or do anything, and I can’t thank them enough.”

Marsh said he came out to his closest friends shortly after telling his family, and he said his friends were supportive from the beginning.

“[My friends] all reacted really well, actually,” he said. “I haven’t lost any friends because of it, since I came out to them. I’m so happy and thankful for that, because I know a lot of people do. It’s not easy for a lot of people, and I’m really lucky to have such good friends who support me.”

Although he hasn’t started taking hormone pills to physically transition yet, Marsh plans on doing so soon.

“My parents considered letting me start taking hormonal pills but they decided against it because they want me to learn to adjust to it, to my body,” Marsh said. “When I’m 18, which isn’t too far away, I can make my own decisions about it, so I’ll start then. I can’t wait.”

Marsh said since he has gone public about his transition, he has been so much happier and confident.

“Before I came out, I was really shy — I couldn’t even look people in the eyes,” Marsh said. “I was so uncomfortable with myself. I used to put my hair in my face and look down when people talked to me. I was always the kid in the corner. It was so frustrating, because I had no idea what was wrong — I had no idea why I was so miserable, why something was always off.

After I came out, I gradually started talking to people much more, I am so much more confident.”

Marsh said the Blue Valley staff has been accepting and helpful throughout his years here.

“Administration first heard about me because I started asking teachers to call me by Adrian instead of my previous name during roll call and just in class,” he said. “At the time, there weren’t any other transgender students out yet. I talked to one of the counselors — Mrs. Seitter — and she is so supportive. She checks in on me every month just to see how things are going. The BV staff has been so supportive and understanding, and I appreciate that so much.”

Marsh said he is still the same person he has always been, and is confident in himself and his identity. He said he wants people to understand he is exactly like them.

“I’m a little uncomfortable only with the fact that people could take one look at me and think ‘transgender’ instead of ‘Adrian’,” he said. “What’s up with that? I’m me — just like every other person. I’m proud of who I am.”