Adam Dupuis's picture

When Did You Know You Were LGBT? Transgender People Talk About The First Time They Knew.

What was your aha moment?  When did that big rainbow light bulb go off over your head and you knew you were a big ol friend of Dorothy? 

I remember my moment of confirmation.  No, not the one in the Roman Catholic Church ceremony.  I did that, too, all the while thinking, ugh, now that I am gay and officially in the Catholic Church, do I need to be an altar boy? Hell no. My moment of personal gay confirmation happened when I was in the third grade and over to my friend Scott's house. Before that night, I had known I had some different feelings than what was considered "the norm," but didn't file those away as important things at the time. LEGO bricks, my awesome Pac-Man watch, and the double slide on the playground were more important to me then.

Okay, back to the big rainbow light bulb.  So there I was, over his house, playing with my friend Scott, his older brother, and his younger brother. Their parents were present, too.  We had a great day and I was waiting for my mother to come pick me up.  Just minutes before my mom was to show up, Scott's mother stated it was time for bed.  All of a sudden all three boys disrobed in the living room like their clothes had velcro stitches and seams.  Boom! Three boys roughly my age were standing there sans clothing.

Was I just curious about other boys' bodies?  Was I flabbergasted that this family embraced nudity a great deal more than mine? Freud and Jung, go away! I knew I was gay.

I wouldn't come out to my parents for another 16 years, not really experience anything man-on-man until after college, but at that point, I knew what I liked, knew whom I liked, knew who I was. Some of us live in the closet much longer than others. Going back to my 25th class reunion this past weekend, many classmates asked me about my Tel Aviv trip and other things they have seen me post online. Friends brought up that they never knew I was gay until reading my posts on Facebook. "Thank God for Facebook!" some even exclaimed.

I've had many different coming outs in my life, to friends, to family, every time I start a new job, but there has always been that one aha moment back in that living room in West Old Town, Maine that sealed my fate.

A recent Reddit post titled Transgender people of Reddit, what was the first memory or sign that you were trans? has been gaining lost of attention.  Like mine, people are sharing their honest stories  and their childhood memories.

Like my long delay in the closet after I knew, many of these individuals did not come out as transgender at the time, but realized whom they were and what path awaited them. I did not come out as a gay boy in the third grade in 1983, but I wish I did.  My how times have changed.  I am not sure I knew anyone else that was gay back then.  I didn't know all of the correct terminology and anal sex seemed so gross and scary and way out there to my young self, even more scary than sex with a woman!  I wouldn't meet someone else that I knew was gay and out and open until 1990, but that is a different story.
 
The what was the first memory question was asked on Reddit just this Wednesday, and already has more than 5,600 comments at the time of writing.
 
We're going to share a few here, but head over to the Reddit post to see more.

There were no sudden clicks. There are some things in hindsight that might suggest it. But overall it was a gradual buildup of wants that culminated in the idea of transitioning. I might add here, my mother was very very much 90s liberal feminist and also lesbian, so I grew up in a household without gender roles enforced on me. I was let to paint nails, she suspected I was bi/gay and said nothing, they bought me barbies if I wanted. Also I had very high estrogen count when I was born, I think I had weird breast buds or something? My mother had told me that when I was young but I didn't know what estrogen was, she mentioned it again after I came out to her recently.

...

At 13 I practised a really good female voice. Just for laughs of course, my guy friends would ask me to do it and say sexual things in and I would. I also had a habit of "helping" bi curious boys.

I absolutely despised wearing suits, ties, dress pants, etc. Used to get near crying when I had to but I sucked it up and eventually it just turned into the constant visceral feeling that I was ugly for no reason.

Eventually I realised I didn't wanna be an old man, father or any of the sort. I pictured myself continuing to age femininely like I had already.


When I was a young kid:

Really really badly wanting reincarnation to be a thing so when I died I could be reborn a girl. At the time I just thought everyone wanted to be a girl.

In hindsight I laugh/cry.


This is super fucked up in hindsight, but once I hit puberty, I used to look in the mirror as I was stripping for the shower and think "as long as all they'd have to do is remove my boobs, I'd be okay with having cancer."

Edit: my top Reddit comment of all time is now about my subconscious hatred of my tits... sounds about right.


Male to female here. I am currently 19 and well into transition.

One of my very first memories that I still remember is realising how much I wanted to be a girl. I was around 5-6, and I was in grade 1. I live in Australia so we wear school uniforms when we attend school. I remember quite vividly that I started feeling slightly envious of girls in my class wearing their overalls whilst I had to wear shorts and a polo shirt. However the real epiphany came in a very vivid dream. That same year I remember having a dream where I was a girl and I was wearing the female uniform and went to school like a normal girl. I just remember a sense of ecstasy throughout the entire dream, as if it was the first time I ever felt happy, despite being 5 or 6 years old at the time. When I woke up from that dream I was overcome with a huge, huge sense of overwhelming disappointment. These dreams kept happening in my life until I began transitioning, each time I would feel the lasting effects of the disappointment over the next few days after the dream.

I grew up in an Asian household whom were also devoutly Christian, so I didn’t find out being trans was a thing until I was 15, otherwise I felt like I would’ve come out much earlier. When i was still a kid, I remember I would pray to God every night before I sleep, asking him if he would turn me into a girl in the morning, and for everyone to forget that I was ever a boy. It’s kind of funny because this is the reason why I think I eventually began to let go of religion.

Well once my teenaged years came around and puberty hit me... well it wasn’t great at all. I kind of let go of all hope of being able to be a girl one day and depression crept up on me unforgivingly. I still suffer remnants of the discomfort and hopelessness that I felt during those years, but life is getting better.


As for trans memories, I remember playing male characters sometimes while playing pretend with my friends. I might be a knight or the prince, and for the most part this was always just okay? Like I said, very relaxed childhood.

Then a little bit older, maybe 4th or 5th grade, I had my first crush and wanted to be her boyfriend instead of her girlfriend? I'm glad I never acted on that because I don't think it would've gone over as well as a simple game of pretend.

I'm honestly not sure when I noticed the difference between boys and girls/what it meant that I was a girl and not a boy... but I can remember spending a lot of nights praying/wishing to go to sleep and wake up as a boy. Or imagining what it would be like if I could go relive my life as a boy. I engaged in all sorts of fantasizing as a form of escapism... Still, didn't recognize it as me being trans at the time. I'm not sure what I thought of myself.

I don't remember when I first considered the possibility that I might be trans, and even though I've gathered a lot of evidence since then, I am still sometimes able to convince myself that I'm "just confused" and need to wait longer and "see how this whole female thing plays out" as though someday I will wake up just randomly happy. Idk. Weird stuff.



How does your story compare to the ones shared above? 

What was your light bulb moment? 

What sealed the deal for you to know that you were and are LGBTQ?