Even in the modern world, coming out as transgender is a particularly difficult thing to do. Despite many positive steps being taken towards improving and promoting LGBTQ+ rights, there is still a lot of ignorance surrounding transgender people.
Someone who knows all too well how emotionally turbulent it can be to come out as transgender is 21-year-old Jaimie Wilson.
Jaimie may be a multi-talented musician, DJ, and model, but the thought of attaining his dreams whilst simultaneously living as his authentic self was unthinkable when he was a teenager and suffering from gender dysphoria.
However, the young man from Ann Arbor, Michigan, has defied the odds to transition beyond recognition, and he has never felt more confident.
In order to inspire others like him, Jamie has shared a series of before and after photos of his striking transition. The photos show how the up-and-coming musician and model went from a conventionally attractive woman to a heart-throbbingly handsome young man.
In a tell-all interview with UNILAD, Jaimie delved into his past and revealed how he felt when he realized he was transgender. Because of his upbringing in a conservative family, he had to hide who he really was and never openly presented himself in a masculine way.
“When I was 15, I knew for a fact that I was male,” he said. “But because I grew up in a very conservative religious household, I had to put my identity and feelings aside until I was able to be on my own. I knew the situation would not have been good, or safe, if I came out that young.”
“I would go to the store and shop in the men’s section. I took every opportunity I had to put on masculine clothing and stare into the mirror.”
“I had a drawer in my bedroom in which I kept all my masculine clothes, and I’d carefully put a layer of feminine clothes over the top so that if my parents went through my room they wouldn’t find them.”
Jaimie’s situation felt hopeless for a long time because he was unable to tell anyone about the emotional turmoil he had been enduring.
“Honestly, it was extremely scary because I didn’t think I’d ever be able to transition,” he said. “I thought it was something I would have to live with for the rest of my life. I didn’t tell anyone how I was feeling because I was afraid of losing everyone.”
Fortunately, Jaimie did reach a point in his life where he felt brave enough to start the lengthy, expensive and risky process of transitioning from female to male, and he’s never looked back since beginning his journey.
“Transitioning for me physically was the best feeling,” he revealed. “I remember cutting my long hair off and how, although the world remained the same, it felt like a whole new one! Emotionally, I felt content and noticed my social anxiety and stress level sort of just disappeared.”
“I became a more happy and lively person. I became me.”
Cutting off his hair in order to give himself a more boyish appearance was the least of his worries. Eventually, he started taking the male hormone testosterone in order to develop more male secondary sex characteristics.
“Starting hormones was such a relief in a way,” he said. “It was like living 19 years of your life as someone else, and then getting this magical juice that makes you look, sound, and feel like who you always have envisioned in your head.”
“I lost many friends when I first came out. I think they only feared what others would think. I came out in high school, where there is so much pressure to fit in, and being my friend wasn’t exactly viewed as normal.”
“I look at it this way, I only changed my appearance, so anyone who disowns me because of my transition clearly only liked me for how I looked on the outside, not who I am on the inside… because that didn’t change.”
The notion of ‘passing’ is particularly dangerous territory within the trans community. Contrary to what people might think, trans people do not necessarily need to physically transition in order to legitimately refer to themselves as a different gender from the one they were assigned at birth.
“The most damaging stereotype people have of me is that I have not always ‘looked’ the part,” he said. “There are no ‘signs’ to be transgender.”
“It may sound crazy, but I didn’t need to ‘come to terms’ with my body. The image I had in my head for so long of how I was supposed to look was finally a reality. I don’t feel like I was put into a new body. I just made the one I was given my home.”
One of the hardest things that people who decide to transition have to deal with is the prospect of losing their loved ones. Tragically, this is something that Jaimie experienced when he finally found the courage to come out as transgender.
“The hardest part of my transition has been losing my family. Growing up I was told that family will always accept and love one another for who they are. I had to face the facts that the things I was told growing up, and the love I was shown was false,” he said.
“I remember the night I showed up at home with my hair cut and masculine clothes on, my mom said, ‘I don’t care that you like girls, but why do you have to look like this?’”
“That hit me pretty hard, she was essentially saying that she is only concerned with my outward appearance… Something no parent should be judging their child for, or anyone for that matter.”
“Even if you were raised the same as I was, don’t think that you need to spend your entire life trying to please your family. Be you, and a true family will love and accept you for who you are. In the end, I didn’t lose family. I lost people that share the same blood as me.”
Jaimie Wilson is a true inspiration to LGBTQ+ people all over the world. He knows who he is and is completely comfortable in his own skin.
Like Jaimie, others who identify as transgender typically come to this realization when they’re very young. Find out about the story of a little boy called Jack who was born a girl and learn about how his parents have dealt with the situation:
We wish Jaimie all the best for the future.