The meanderings of a multi-racial transgender 3rd generation Korean immigrant…

By: Tony Rodriquez

The exact date of when it all began is fuzzy; it’s been too long to remember the exact date but I’ve decided to make it April 23rd. This would make it a few days after Easter, depending on when Easter falls that year and a few months before my birthday. It happened in the most Tumblr way and it, like many things in my life, was an accident. One of the best accidents that could’ve ever happened to me.

I was looking through the Steven Universe tag on Tumblr when I stumbled upon an AskBlog. It all started with a headcanon for a character to be transgender, through binders being mistaken for crop tops; I found out who I was. This was in the 7th grade, I tried to love myself but it never worked. I felt so wrong in everything I was in. Yet when I put my hair up in a beanie my friend gave me and I treasured it; I felt so right. Of course, I was initially happy before I realized how much of a mountain climb I just signed up for. I didn’t have a name to use and whatever it was it had to be special.

I didn’t choose it. My dad did. I asked who I would be if I were a boy one day and he told me, “Anthony,” and for an Italian pun: insert Italian hand gesture. Either way, it made me feel at home. It’s been what I’ve been living with and it feels like second nature. Like any new name, it took time to really adjust to. The first two years I went from Josh to Carmine, Adam to James, then Anthony stuck.

The first two years were the hardest. I lived with dysphoria like the world’s worst friend. Yet dysphoria helps you when you’re down. Some days you’ll feel like you’re not close to being who you want to be. Then one day someone calls you the right pronoun, the right name and you treasure that day forever. I cried a lot those first few years, craving for the surgeries and testosterone, like an addiction that never started yet never fled.

Then the third year hit and I realized I can’t get everything I want right now. I’m not financially enabled and not even close to being old enough to do it all. So..I toughened up and lived with a body I’d soon start to love.

I love the body I have now, although as soon as I can I’ll change it yet, for now, I have to accept her. She is chubby but warm. She is not who I am anymore yet she’s what I have. Even so with all of my already raging teenage hormones I never knew who I would want to be or what I’d want to do. Yet I’ve learned that through time, seeking and waiting for the answers.

When all is said and done; I’m glad I wasn’t able to get the surgeries two years ago. The thing is although the debate is still up whether you need dysphoria (and you do, I will not debate with you on this) to be transgender. Those who take the bold leap to start any hormones as soon as they can realize the mistake they’ve made and pay even more to get back to where they started. My family was scared of that happening to me. They wanted to make sure this was absolutely something I wanted. Having these five terrible and perfect years to decide who I am and what I need to do to be me was the best thing I could have because I got to learn how to be me in time.

So Happy 5 years to me. Maybe I’ll bring cupcakes to celebrate.

Here are my words fo advice to those trans-babies out there; wait, just wait. It’ll suck but you’ll have people who help you through and find the best in people. Like those who learn how to love you with everything you are and aren’t. Besides, for some of you, it may be a phase and even so that’s okay. Just be you and time will tell who you are and what you need to be.

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