The student news site of Portage Northern High School

Dark days

February 18, 2019

One of the darkest parts of Gerhard’s journey came during her sophomore year, when she was struggling with knowing who she was at the deepest level. “I didn’t know what the word transgender was until I was 15, I didn’t think it would apply to me. Only until when I was 16 I figured it out, and I went for a whole year in denial,” she recalls. When finding her true identity, Gerhard had some plaguing difficulties. “Later thinking I was gay, and I was stuck between gender identities, non binary, genderqueer, demigirl. I felt like I wasn’t girl enough to be a girl. I was bit confused honestly, I was trying to find my identity who I was,” she says.

Gerhard initially had a great deal of fear about coming out. “I went into denial because I was afraid that maybe I was wrong about being transgender, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t pass well if I transitioned. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be accepted. It’s one thing being gay, you come out and nowadays most people will support you,” she said. “But being trans is not an everyday thing, it’s not about who you date, it’s about your whole identity, which is why it’s scarier being trans. It’s a huge change,” she exclaims.

An additional layer of turmoil with transitioning and interacting socially came from the fact that Gerhard is also on the Autism spectrum. “I think it can be a bit more difficult for me to explain who I am, and express that for others to understand and interpret that. It can be difficult I don’t always know what to say, it can make it hard for me to socialize,” she explains. “It makes me feel very isolated, and alienated, left out in groups very often I always feel very alone. I know I shouldn’t desire about fitting in, but I just have this desire inside,” she says.

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