This Trans Man's Story Makes An Important Point About Pre-Transition Bodies

When a person comes out as LGBTQ, one of the first things the family member or friend who they're confiding in often does is flip through the "signs" that pointed to their loved one's queerness. "So that's why you never had boyfriends/had so many gay friends/weren't that interested in makeup." (These are all things my family said to me when I came out as a lesbian.)
But one transgender man just posted a set of before-and-after photos to prove that sometimes there aren't any signs ― and that that doesn't make anyone's identity less valid.
Jamie Wilson took to Instagram to share photos of himself both before and after his transition.
"You don't have to pass a test to prove you're trans...and you sure as hell don't need ANYONES approval but your own," he wrote in the post. "When I came out people refused to believe I was a man because of how 'Feminine' I presented for 18 years. So why am I posting this comparison? Because I want people to see it doesn't matter what some LOOKS like...if someone has the guts to tell you 'I'm transgender' 'I'm gay' 'I'm bisexual' anything like that PLEASE BELIEVE them and be there for them because stereotypes need to be broken."
It's not the first time Wilson has shared photos of his pre-transition self on Instagram. He regularly posts comparisons, most of them to honor his journey or to track his progress.
It's an important message, and one we don't hear often. It's horrible to think that family or friends would tell Wilson that his transgender identity doesn't "count" because he presented feminine before he came out.
According to Pink News, Wilson's family is no longer part of his life after his coming out.
“I miss having my family in my life…I miss my parents being proud of me…but you know what I don’t miss?" he wrote in a Facebook post, according to Pink News. “I don’t miss the nights I laid alone battling with my feelings…I don’t miss waiting for everyone to leave the house so I could put on masculine clothes and tuck my long hair under a hat…I don’t miss hiding.”
Although Wilson wrote on Facebook that he did dress more masculine when no one was around, even those "signs" don't need to be present for someone to be transgender. What matters is how a person feels and how they identify. As Wilson wrote in his post, when someone decides to come out, it's not ok to question their identity. Someone telling you they're transgender means that they're transgender ― no matter how they looked or acted prior to coming out.

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