Honorable Mention: Best Transgender
"Becoming Katie"
By Anonymous
KarMel Scholarship 2012
Go back to home page.
Description of Submission:
"A passage from birth to the present on the spiral of emotions that I felt through my transition from Luke Smith a boy.
Annie Smith, a girl. My submission is about the detail of emotional turmoil that transgenders feel from a young
age, and how it slowly grows out into chaos, or disappear, and it can only be helped from within, or by change. I talk
about my childhood, my parents, my friends, my school experience. All of which, are not at all uncommon from every
other transgender." - Anonymous

Why Karen and Melody Liked It
We liked that this person was able to give us background on his/her life, to coming to realization that he/she was a
transgender to making the transition.  It was great to see a supportive mother in a child's endeavor to become who
they want to be.
     * Names have been changed to protect the identity.

My story, my life, goals; dreams, my philosophy and my future, all of these things I will be more than happy
to talk about. That’s why I believe I am here, to talk, to tell my story. To inform anyone who wishes to know, what
I have to say, what I believe. And now, I will say it again; this time, with eagerness.
      My name is Annie Smith; I am seventeen years old, and a student at Fremont High School in Ohio. I was
born, June 28th. I realize that this is only just last year-
I promise however, this is correct. Because, I was born again before, in another life, another time, but that’s
much later on, I don’t wish to jump ahead of myself.
      Previously, I was born: Luke Smith, a male with beautiful blue eyes; born on May 12th, 1994; Mother’s Day,
in New Bern, North Carolina. Quiet as a mouse, no sound, no tears, I didn’t even scream. I couldn’t at birth, I
was born with my umbilical cord around my neck, suffocating. My eyes matched my body, quickly changing
from a hued blue to a deep purple, life quickly fading. My mother panicked, kicked and screamed because
she feared for me, she feared that she would lose me right there in the hospital, or afraid that I may end up like
my older brother, mentally handicapped.  
      Luckily I survived, but, not only did I survive, I flourished. From that one panicked moment at birth that
seemed it was suppose to take my life, instead, it gave me an opening to a world that I was given a world; life,
so unfair, that it would take me on a whirlwind of emotional, physical, mental, and social chaos that would later
lead to serenity and peace at such a young age. Barely reaching the grasp of adulthood, yet, helping
hundreds, thousands, helping those who live like me, or will live like me to understand themselves, to learn to
not be afraid. To learn, to understand that pain and suffering is not a burden, or a curse, but a gift, something
that must be cherished, not feared, not hated. Gifts that when embraced, and understood can be overcome!
Conquered! And then, that pain and suffering, turns into raw strength, beauty and divinity; humanity.  
      After the chaos of my birth died down, I was given back to my mom. Of course she was thrilled to see I had
survived, and no brain damage, or vital organs were damaged. She cried, as did my father. Now they could
see their beautiful baby boy, with full soft lips, long eyelashes, and beautiful blue eyes. The same blue eyes that
my dad has, deep, and shaded and bordered with a loving and soft black.
My father was a Lieutenant Colonel, Silver Oak Leaf, in the United States of America’s Marines. My father
would go onto be in the military for another decade, completing his twenty-seven year career before retiring
while I was still in my early years. He was raised in a Mormon family. He is a very tall man, roughly 6’ 2” and as
a young child, he was built with muscle! I was his first child, his first son too nonetheless, and how he loved me.
His Scandinavian blood and Irish heritage gave him his blonde and red hair that thinned out on the top of his
head over the years and slowly made its way to a bushy beard! He was- The best dad I think any young child
could want.

My mom was a beautiful Italian and French woman. Who was raised in a heavy Catholic family. She had long
black hair, and gorgeous sultry green eyes, sharp and crisp, strong and vigil, in her youth my mom was the
popular girl in school, she was the cheerleader, the one every boy wanted to be with, the one every girl wanted
to be. However, she had a flaw, among her infinite beauties she had one thing that even she thought of was
innocent, her ignorance. She made fun of handicap children, gays, lesbians, everyone who didn’t fit into her
mind. She was ready to be a mother however, by eighteen she had married her first husband, and sat and
prayed that she would get her own, little baby girl first. A beautiful girl that she could dress up and tie braids in
her blonde, red, or black hair. But, to her sadness, she only got boys, four boys. Little did she know, she had a
daughter all of this time, right under her nose. This outlook changed as she grew older, the birth of her elder
son, followed by her husband cheating, and leaving her. Her second marriage only lasting a few short months,
leaving her with my older brother, Jake, who was born severely mentally handicapped, the very reason at why
her second husband left her! Born with ACC (Agenis of the Corpus Callosum), a disease where the person’s
Corpus Callosum, which connects both of the hemispheres of the brain, is either incredibly damaged, or
missing all together. My mom was given this, even though she was ignorant to handicaps. For years she
wondered: “Why me? Why was I given this curse?” A child, who would never be able to run, to love, to sing, to
dance… It broke her heart, and it nearly killed her. This one event, this one ‘cursed’ event threw her into a
spiral of depression and loss of hope. She even went to the extreme of- staring at a gun, ready to kill Josh, and
herself, to be together forever, to protect him from the world. Because of course, there were people all around
her telling her how this was. That he wouldn’t live to be past two, that he wouldn’t survive the night, that it was a
curse on my mother that he was alive. And that nothing good could come of this. But, they were wrong… The
doctors, professionals, and family members all were wrong! They said he wouldn’t live past the first night; he
made it past the first week! They said he wouldn’t live to be two... He’s now twenty-one…

      The earliest memories I can recall are those from when I lived in Okinawa, Japan. The United State’s
Marine Military base colony. I lived there when I was one year old, until I was five. I remember as early as the
age of two that something was different with me, but, I didn’t know what. I felt odd, unhappy, but I didn’t pay
much attention to it, at the time, why would I?
At one and two, little children don’t ponder on what’s wrong in their minds, in their lives, or in the world. But I
did, I knew even at two and three that something was definitely wrong, that I was different to the other little boys
that I played with.

      My life was good in Japan, we had a very beautiful, and small house, just for the three of us. Every day I
would wake up, and a whole new relaxing, and beautiful day would be right outside the door, waiting for me.
My mom and dad would go off to work, and leave me with my babysitter, Jennifer. As much as I try to recall
however, I can’t remember her that well at all. I can only see flashes of memories from my earlier childhood,
and each and every one of them is either so precious, and loving; or cruel, and degrading. I remember my
mom, coming home and starting dinner while I watched T.V. or tried my best to memorize the Japanese songs
that I would hear in my pre-school, and daycare. The smell of her food, flowing through the house as I laughed
and played, and waited until my dad came home, where he would sit down for hours with me and tell me
stories, and jokes, play with me, read to me, and tell me he loved me.
Before I was four, mom got pregnant with twins I don’t remember any of the pregnancy. A full seventeen-weeks
of her getting bigger, or saying something about the babies, and yet I cannot bring myself to remember even a
day of it. However, to this very day I can paint the scene of when my mom went into labor with my youngest
brother. To what she wore, to where she was sitting, to what she was eating. Sadly, the twins didn’t make it, a
boy and a girl. My mother was so close to having her dream of having a little girl come true; I don’t want to
imagine her pain; ever.
By five I was playing with dolls, kitchen ware, and I even went to the length of pretending what I would look like
in Barbie’s clothes. I remember having a Mrs. Potato Head; I would put on her clip on earrings, and her
glasses, trying to carry her tiny purse around the house in my hand as I pretended to walk in heels like I had
seen my mom do before she had gotten pregnant with my youngest brother, Henry.
      The boys in my neighborhood always made fun of me, chased me up trees, and the older boys who were
most likely in their upper teens chased me to my house shouting: “Gay,! Fag! Sissy! Momma’s Boy! Freak!” at
that time I didn’t know what any of those meant, nor did I really care, they were just mean words that hurt my
feelings, but nothing that I thought was cruel, or out of place. The boys saw how I would love to skip, and laugh;
let the girls in the neighborhood dress me up in skirts, and tops, with small amounts of make-up, like lip-gloss
or gold eye-shadow. I loved it, it felt right, it felt like I had a right to run around screaming, dancing,
experiencing the world in beautiful, colorful, and tight clothing, rather than bland, baggy, or stiff clothes. I loved
the feel of the gloss on my lips. I loved it so much, that I would sneak lip-stick and gloss from my mom’s make-
up room and try each and every one of them! My lips looked just like the lips of the super-models that I would
see in my mom’s magazine, I compared them to my mom, her soft hair, beautiful eyes, and sultry look. And, I
would cry; just because my eyes and lips looked like hers, looked beautiful- nothing else did, at all. The girls
adored me however, they would come over every day and want me to skip rope with them, or run around in
their sprinklers as we played games and laughed all day. Each of them looked somewhat like me, only with
longer hair, and they weren’t allowed to take off their shirts as we danced around the water. Soon after, I did as
they did and refused to take off my shirt. And all the way until I realized I was transgender, I did this, I never took
off my shirt when I went to a water-park, or jumped in a pool, I would go to any length to be like a girl, even if I
wasn’t consciously knowing I was doing it.

      After Henry was born, Dad’s time in Okinawa was over. It was time to move back to the states; Florida.
Florida wasn’t a large significance, I find myself troubled that I cannot remember most of my time there. Except
how I quickly started finding ideas that I was different, dashing into my mom’s room screaming, and crying that
I wanted my male genitals off! I wanted them to be gone, at five years old! By five, no child understands
sexuality; no child understands the difference completely between gender, and sex. I hated myself, I wondered;
when my mom got out of the tub and would dry herself off as she walked through her bedroom to get into her
PJ’s as I sat on her bed playing with our small dog at the time, or with my toys, why I wasn’t allowed to let my
hair grow out, why my body didn’t look like hers, why I wasn’t allowed to wear the beautiful things that she got to
wear, each of them stimulating my mind, and eyes, each shirt with a different pattern, color, or added item,
each piece of clothing could be worn underneath something, or over something! It fascinated me, it made me
jealous, and at five years old, I would cry because I couldn’t have the genitals that she had. I didn’t even know
what their function was, the reason behind them, all I know is that it looked more natural, it looked more
After retiring, Dad’s money flowed like wine. Every little thing that I wanted every toy, every game, every pet,
Henry and I got! But, there wasn’t enough toys, and gifts in the entire world to fill the emptiness that brewed in
me; a storm was coming.

      Harassment continued in school, neglect of my depression, and confusion grew within my house-hold, and
tension between my parents continued to rise. And there was only four people, within all of Florida, that would
comfort me, that would spend time with me; for three long years, all I had were these four friends… and slowly,
one by one, they left before I did. And, without so much of a goodbye from the remaining friends I had, my time
in Florida had ended. A quick shadow of time in my calendar, but, the biggest part of my adventure would
explode on me in Oklahoma, my world would collapse, and that happy, beautiful, angle child; would die, and
turn into a child of darkness, and self-hate.
My mom put me on what seemed like a nearly endless line of medications, therapy, and physical evaluation;
on account that I stopped eating. I stopped going outside, and my tan that I had got in Florida quickly faded
into a pale and clammy skin. Large bags formed over my eyes, black, and heavily sagged. I stopped smiling
and laughing and hide myself from the world, on first glance of me, my greasy hair and unwashed clothes that I
would wear every day, to my exhausted face and emotionless actions, one might as well thought I was the
walking dead. I would hardly leave my room, for fear of being judged from every person; family and friends
alike from outside of the walls. Every so often would I leave to get a small amount to eat, or to use the
bathroom. Other than that, I only left for school, or if I was forced to, whether for dinner, or therapy.

Sadly, I remember these years the most, I was self-tormenting, bashing on myself telling myself that I was
worthless, or that I was unworthy to show my face and skin, that I wouldn’t amount to anything. I was ugly,
idiotic, foolish, and would never have anyone love me. I would repeat these over and over again to myself, like
a demon from within was spitting at me, mocking me to say these things only to drive me further into
depression and hopelessness.
Already at seven did suicide swim through my mind, the thought of it sounded almost sweet, almost like it was

Before I was even eight, I had already heavily considered suicide; when everyone was outside celebrating
Fourth of July at my house one year, I went into the kitchen and drew a knife from the knife block. I wasn’t
having a fun time at all, everything sounded sad, and uninteresting to me, the sound of my mom and dad, aunts
and uncles, grandparents and cousins laughing and screaming with the mixture of wine and fireworks outside
only made me more depressed because I was jealous of their bliss, jealous of how easy happiness came to
them when I had to try with all my will to even smile.
I locked myself in my bathroom and wetted two towels with very hot water, and wiped my arms and neck with
the steaming water before wrapping one around my wrist, and one around my neck. I sat on the stool and
stared intently on the knife, for over an hour all I could do was stare at the knife, I cried for a majority of the time.
I wanted so much to do it, the hot water would increase the bleeding since the blood would be wet and
warmed, all I had to do was cut either my wrist, or my throat and my pain would go away, I didn’t care whether
or not my parents would be upset about my death, I just wanted the pain to end, and for my suffering and
confusion to end. I thought of how my parents may stop fighting after I was gone, and I wouldn’t have to
compete with my little brother for my parent’s affection, the more I sat and thought about it, the more it seemed
that killing myself would be for the better and would make the world a much better place.

The water around the towels grew cold, and the sounds of the fireworks continued to boom outside. I couldn’t
understand it; all this time my mind had been telling me, that I was a woman, but my body was telling me I was
male, my mind was telling me to have fun and live a happy life, but my body was forcing me to hold and to stay
put. My mind the good guy and my body the bad in this comic book struggle. But now, when the cards had
turned and I stared death in the face at only seven, my mind screaming at me to end it, my mind was made up
to just cut my wrist, I knew it would hurt a lot, but no pain could be greater than what I was going through now,
just the confusion alone was driving me insane. But this time, my body was stopping me, almost as if there
was a very strong man holding my wrist, forcing me to keep the knife still. My hand would shake and quiver and
I searched for the strength to move the knife, but for over an hour all I could do was shift it back and forth from
its stasis position. Finally, I dropped the knife and started cursing and screaming in anger, hot tears streamed
down my face. I threw the knife back into the block in a fuss, and quickly ran to my room- I cried myself to sleep
that night- the fireworks and party in the backyard went on for a couple more hours; no one came to check up
on me.

I tried once more when I was nine. By this time we had a pool in our backyard, and I was going to be creative. I
didn’t want my fear or my human instinct to survive to stop me from being at peace, no matter the cost. So, I
decided that I was going to tangle a short rope around four cinder blocks and then tie the rope to my wrist and
throw the blocks into the pool, pulling me in with it, forcing me to die, even if I decided to try to untie the rope I
wouldn’t be able to since I knotted the rope and twined it within four blocks. I threw all four of the blocks into my
dad’s wheelbarrow one at a time before tangling and twisting medium length room inside and around the
blocks. When I was finished there was just enough rope for me to wrap the rope around my wrist and tangle the
rope back down into the blocks so that I couldn’t untie my wrist restraint either. After I was finished, I joylessly
and ambitiously tugged at the ropes with all my strength to make sure that there was no way that the rope was
coming lose. I was solid, my wrist didn’t even shift up a couple inches, it stayed perfectly in place. Hunched
forward I picked up the wheelbarrow with my one ready hand and headed down the hill to our pool.

When I got there, I took a deep breath, and without a second thought, or expression of a second thought I
tipped the wheelbarrow over so that the blocks fell to the ground directly next to the pool. I got in the pool and
with a sharp tug brought the cinder blocks in with me into the twelve foot depth part of the pool. I sunk just as I
expect, and also just like I expected I started to panic, splashing around as fast as I could. But my mind was
still bent on suicide, my body involuntarily struggled against the blocks, slashing and tearing at the thick rope.
But soon, I calmed myself, and it seemed like my body had excepted its fate, a victim of my mind. However,
when I opened my eyes again after my fury, to my horror and absolute surprise, the entire rope that wrapped
around the cinder blocks had untangled and was now floating freely in the water. The rope still hug tightly on my
wrist; but, the rope that I had tripled checked to make sure it wouldn’t come undone, even after being in the
water and being thrown into the water not only was loose, but was free of all cinderblocks. I quickly struggled to
the surface and gasped for air, my body sore and weak. I was under the water for well over two minutes. I tried
swimming back down to get the cinderblocks, but they were too heavy to pull back up to the top, and my body
rejected me going more than a couple of feet before I started to panic again. I went inside and cut the rope and
threw the remains and the wheelbarrow back in my dad’s shop and repeated what I had done last time, only
this time- with more self-pity. I couldn’t even kill myself correctly.

To this very day, my parents don’t know about these attempts.   

When someone asked me to go to the movies, or whether I wanted to go to a park, or just to go hangout, I
would refuse, it didn’t seem fun. But, not only was it just not fun, it sounded tedious, and inconvenient, like it
wasn’t even worth the energy of talking about such “fun” activities, I would prefer stay in my house, alone, rather
than to go out of attempt to have fun. I felt like I was in an unknown prison, only over the years the walls began
to close in on me and squeeze me tight to the point of near suffocation. I could feel myself: trapped within a
dark room, a room so dark that I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, this room had no walls, no limits, but
it did have a door. A door that was locked, and bolted shut and it was impossible to open without a key. The
only light that slipped into this misty and dark world was only the sliver that came from the keyhole, and how
tasty and beautiful it looked, I would have given anything at that age to be a normal child, to get whatever awful
burden that I had on my mind. At the time I didn’t even fully understand what it was, it was like my body was
rejecting everything around me, it was lost and confused in my body and it didn’t know what to do with itself; so
it hid itself away from the world, so that it could rest and figure the problem out.

      I had to find something to grab onto in life, a motive, or goal for fear that I would kill myself, or surely go
insane. I had no friends to hold on to, or a family that I felt loved me to talk to, and even if I did feel like they
cared about me, I always felt too weak or uninterested to do anything with them. It was like I was pushing them
away, like I was subtly saying goodbye, much like a friend would do if he knew he was moving away, it- eases
the pain when they leave. I couldn’t play a single sport, I had no hobbies besides the computer, T.V. or video
games, and the sun was so uncomfortable. It was as if I was a real vampire, I didn’t want to be cold, or hot, or
be uncomfortable in anyway. To have the sun blind me, or to have to walk anywhere, it wasn’t laziness, it was
sheer disinterest. I could remember days when I would pace back and forth, almost begging myself to go out
with friends to a movie, or to just see someone. I was starved of human contact, outside of my family and
school (where I was teased and mocked, and belittled by everyone, expect maybe two or three friends, who
still had their days where they would mock and tease as well.) I was alone; I didn’t know how to make friends,
or how to even start. I didn’t know how to talk to someone new, and even if I did set up a day to spend time with
someone outside of my home, I wouldn’t know the first thing to do, but even on those days, my mind would cry
for attention, but my body would reject it, and in the end I would end up on the floor, sprawled out screaming
and crying for help and attention from my parents, or friends, or even- God, yet no one would come, Jake
would be outside with his friends, dad outside with him, playing, or at work. And I hardly ever saw mom. I just
wanted a hug from my dad, and then for them to fix the problem, I didn’t know what it was, and I was tired of
being afraid and sick. I wanted my parents who although I hated being around, I still loved and respected; I
wanted; needed them to fix it, but, they never did. I would cuff my hands over my face as I thrashed about on the
rug in a near seizure screaming for help and for someone to care, until my tears dried or someone came
through the door, I didn’t want them to hear me cry or scream, I didn’t want to be taken to anymore therapists to
have them all sit there and tell me the exact same thing over and over again like all the others. I would beg and
plead with God, to take away my pain I bargained every day to help me, to make me stop crying, to make me
a real woman. Every star I wished on, I wished to be the most beautiful woman in the world. Every day at 11:11,
I would cross my fingers and pray for me to be a woman, overtime it devolved into just as simple as: “Please
let me be happy, just for today.” It got that bad.  At seven years old, when every normal child, boy or girl would
be happy to go outside, or see their friends, or their family. I had no skills or experience in anything, but I did
find that school and problems came easy to me. So I decided the one goal that I would have, the motive I
would have would to be the very best in school. Much like an athlete would strive to be the best in his sport, I
forced myself to learn every strand of information I could learn. Quickly growing up to a 12th grade reading
level when I was just ten. (I got in the newspaper for this) I locked myself in my room and would beat my head,
cry when I struggled with the problems. This only increased the burden and stress on myself. If I even received
a B on a paper I would burst into tears in the middle of the class. Which happened rather frequent in Grammar
and History since my mind isn’t wired into those subject. If I would get a problem wrong on the board I would
feel humiliated and judged immediately, and more than once would I just drop to my knees in the middle of
class and just start screaming in anger and depression. This would scare the teachers most of the time; I was
so scared of failing even a little in the one and only thing that I could do right; the one thing that I could
accomplish in. And it made me sick if anyone did better than I did, if I would hear a teacher talk about how
smart another student was, or if someone in the class got a higher grade then me I would feel worthless, even
if it was by just one point. I would cry and soon become violent with myself; stabbing sharp pencils into my legs
and breaking the lead off into the skin for every problem I got wrong, trying to teach myself a lesson in messing

This may sound odd, but after years of not having a motive to live for, I finally had one thing that I could do, and
that I could actually make a life doing, which was my maturity and intelligence, even if it wasn’t completely book
smarts, I am able to analyze people, and solve incredible complicated and confusing social and problematic
problems with ease.   

      This went on even when I left Okay for  Ohio when I was thirteen. I cried for years, every night my parents
had to lay and listen to my shrieks and cries of sadness and despair from down the hall. Their son, who was
teased and bullied nearly every day, who would refuse to be labeled with the term ‘homosexual’ because he
knew inside he wasn’t. Locking himself in his room trying to learn every bit of information that he could even if it
was years past his understanding.

      I wanted to feel beautiful more than anything, for a guy to see me and realize that I was a woman, with skin,
cheekbones and breast, not a man to see muscles, abs and a deep voice. I hated the idea. I researched cross-
dressers, drag-queens but they only made me even madder when I thought of being relating those to me. I had
a very deep unmentionable bond within that I knew what I was, yet, no one, not even counselors had any
answers for me. Physiologists and Doctors all just kept bringing up that I was chronically depressed and
suicidal and that I was gay.

      It wasn’t the idea that I was gay that bothered me, after awhile I forced myself to accept it. But I knew the
definition of it, I knew what it meant. It didn’t feel, or sound right. But I accepted it, for awhile, I knew I wasn’t, but
to make my family keep the idea in their heads that there was something troubling me, instead of forgetting it
after a year or two like they always did, I would make sure I kept it fresh in their minds. To my friends however, I
still tried my best to convince them that I was a normal, straight boy. But at first glance at my high check-bones,
long legs, curved hips, and girlish voice, almost immediately no one I told this to believed me. Even among my
friends teasing wasn’t foreign. Nearly every day a smart comment or “harmless” joke would sting me. I didn’t
pay too much attention to it all however, I knew that every teenager went through this. It was problems at home
that I was more concerned with.

      Just a couple of days before 9-11 my dad was suppose to go to the World Trade Center, he was going to
stay for a couple of days, I cannot recall why, or why he was unable to go, but after the tragedy, it really messed
him up. Not only that, but it turned out a couple of his friends had died at The Pentagon, he turned to alcohol to
settle his afflictions. The Whiskey he took a preference to made him angry, and violent. Nearly every night I
would hear him and mom downstairs in the kitchen that was directly below my bedroom fighting and yelling,
always muffled sounds. Mom told me a couple of them were how dad was disappointed in having a “sissy” or
a “gay” for a son. He was thankful that he at least had Jake who would be the man in the family.

I had too many complications at this point. I felt like a stranger in my house, like I was only a disappointment
and a burden on my mom and dad, that if I was gone they wouldn’t fight, and my dad wouldn’t be so hateful
towards me. But of course that wasn’t the case, the once steel strong bond between my Dad and me, quickly
turned to oil and water. We stopped talking, and I would avoid and conversation with him, in fear of him judging
me, he also had become a stranger to me; someone I couldn’t trust didn’t want to trust! I watched as my dad
took on a favorite, and left me behind. My little brother got the spoils of my dad’s money; toys, and bikes, video
games, four-wheelers, Dad even hired people with bulldozers to make Jake a dirt-bike track in our large back-
yard! I however, couldn’t get even the littlest things from him, unless it was Christmas or my birthday, as the
years rolled by, my need to even ask for anything died. The child who got every toy they wanted and every kiss
they needed when he was young, now was too afraid to even ask for clothes, clothes that I hated to wear. My
friends would tease me and make fun of me when they were surrounded by those who did the same. However
they would confuse me when they would treat me normally, they would want to laugh and play with me when no
one else was around. My teachers snickering stealthy ignorant jokes from around the corners, and there was
always a couple of rumors floating around the school. Like how I took ballet and got the first place award for
being the gayest kid in the world. Small, immature statures that just made most of the kids look stupid to me,
but, it still hurt nonetheless.

      In Ohio we had a fairly large house again, it was two-stories, and the main room was easily twenty feet
high. I spent a lot of time alone in the house after I got home from school, my little brother would run off with his
friends, or ride on his dirt-bikes in the back. He would play with our labs outside, and when dad got home, they
would play all day and all night until it was bed time. You would never see a frown on my little brother’s face.
When I got home however, I would go to my room, there wasn’t much to do, I had a couple of video games, and
a computer that had dial-up. But both of them overtime bored me, and only made me more aware of my
unhappiness and loneliness. Many days I would go into my mom’s closet, she had a huge closet, one that
wasn’t just a walk in, but could be walked around in! I wouldn’t dare pull the clothes off of the hangers, for fear
that I wouldn’t be able to put it back on right, or I would be caught wearing her clothes, but I would stand in front
of the mirror, holding them close to me, and I would cry. I just wanted to wear them, I wanted to walk out of the
house and go to the movies, or out to eat with her beautiful clothes on, with long hair, clipped eyebrows and
beautiful soft skin. I wanted to fall asleep as a beautiful woman, my hair bound with a clip, or band, in my soft
and loose PJ’s that made me look so cute. But I couldn’t have it.

      The school harassment at Fremont got worse as the years moved on. Teachers and staff began to join in
the dysfunctional and inappropriate judgment of me. For instance, when I had P.E. in 8th grade, whenever we
had a boys verses girls at the beginning of the year I would always immediately go to the girls side, by this time
I had began to rebel against what society and what others were telling me I was, or what I couldn’t do. Of
course, I would get yelled at, and either be taken out of the game all together, forced to sit on the sidelines and
get a failing grade for the day as I endured the strange stares from the others kids. Or I was sent the Principals
Office to be scolded and told over and over again what I couldn’t do. Little did I know at this time but all of
these adults, and professionals, telling me what I am, and who I am, what I can do, and what I cannot do was
just the fuel to my rage and strength to fight back. I began to resent this authority, for all of my life up to that
point, every day someone was telling me “no” and then throwing something in my face that in my heart, felt
wrong and sick. I always wanted to wear dresses; instead I would get thrown into counseling, medications, my
own family getting upset and my parents fighting; when, all I wanted to do, was wear a dress, it didn’t seem that
hard for me to understand.
       I began sneaking into the girl’s bathroom, and began to get violent with my mother when she tried to cut
my hair; throwing the scissors across the room and hiding her blades. I would grow my nails out very long, and
steal my mom’s nail polish and clear coat them. No matter how many times mom yelled at me, or hide the
polish, I would find it and continue to do it. I could feel the pure ambitioned rage from within burn. My rebellious
teenage years hit heavily, but instead of it being fueled by annoyance like most teenagers, mine was fueled by
pure fury. Anger and misunderstanding at my mom for not listening to me, and trying to protect me from myself,
and the stress, anger, and confusion that no thirteen year old should go through. Pure rage at my dad for
leaving and playing favorites with my little brother while he never talked to me; and especially anger at God, for
cursing me with something that was not only unfair, but unmanageable. I was so angry that I felt like I was the
only person on the planet that felt like the way I did, like I was a new species that was born simply to die out
and let life take them. I soon stopped believe in a God, I couldn’t fathom an all loving being, giving everyone
around me a happy life, and a more stable living, and only giving me this curse. Every day wasn’t a gift, it was
a laugh in my face. My depression and thoughts to simply fall over and die was taken over by anger and
ambition to show everyone that they were wrong, and to gain the power, to tell everyone what they could and
couldn’t do, and who they could and couldn’t be.

Of course, anger is a very negative emotion; I have to admit I couldn’t have survived without its perfect timing. It
was the starting log in my fire, and it was not only refreshing to feel the power, but also an experienced that
showed me that I had the authority to resist authority! When the counselors at school, or the Vice Principal
would tell me that I couldn’t play on the girl’s team or that I had to change in the locker rooms every day, I would
refuse outright and walk out before they even could finish their sentence, I felt like they had no right to speak to
me. There was no way that I would undress around a bunch of men, especially when I was so ashamed of
myself that I wouldn’t look down at myself when I showered, I would sit down whenever I used the bathroom and
for seven years I had never seen my penis once. Only time I would notice it was there was when I showered;
other than that, I felt like it was the form of pure evil and disgust and I shouldn’t focus my mind on it at all, I
wanted to be a woman, so I needed to act like one and look like one. I would tuck it between my legs when I
showered to give myself the appearance of a woman. I sit down every time I used the bathroom, I wore nail-
polish, I shaved my legs and arms, and began plucking my eyebrows, the entire time dealing unbelievable
lectures at home and punishments, while at the same time fighting through the endless beatings at school of
words and physical threats. But for some reason, they weren’t hurting me as much anymore, instead, I felt like
they were giving me power.
Much like you see in the movie “Matilda” It’s about a young gifted girl who was born into an abusive family that
doesn’t really care for her at all. However, she has amazing powers, powers to move objects with her mind, or
to manipulate the world around her, but in order to unlock these amazing abilities she had to withstand the
abuse from her family and peers.
And now the climax, I’m sure you’ve been wondering: “When will the part where she finally admits that she’s
transgender come in?” Well, truth is, I didn’t even know there was such thing as a transgender until the very day
that I told my mother that I was one.
It was late January 2009, and I was fifteen; one night, I decided it was time to come clean with myself, I would
search all the time on the internet about: “How to know if you’re gay.” Or, “I’m gay but I don’t feel gay.” I kept
beating around the bush and not being honest with myself about how I really felt inside, Why? Because it’s
what society and my parents expected, if I wasn’t going to be a “perfect” straight boy, then I would just have to
be gay, no matter how I felt inside, or what I wanted to be. So I finally searched the magic sentence: “I feel like I’
m a girl trapped in a boy’s body.” And the second I hit enter after typing that gateway sentence into Google, my
eyes were open wide to something that was- right in front of me this entire time! Something that spoke to me
immediately; stories, of people that felt just as I did, how their parents rejected them, and how they didn’t want
a man to love them if they saw them as a man. People who were attracted just to straight men, who wished
they had long hair, and beautiful features, who wished they could have played with dolls and worn dresses.
Each story sung to me, each one I searched sounded more and more like me!

      And finally I saw the magic word: “Transgender” and that one word sent me on another journey. I pulled up
definitions of it, stories, doctor reports, and even pages about hormone therapy and gender reassignment
surgery. It was like my prayers had finally been finished! I started crying wildly and just the idea that all this time
there was a surgery already in existence that I had prayed and screamed for to exist. Not just that! But I then
knew at that very second that I wasn’t alone, that there were hundreds, if not thousands of other transgenders in
the world other than me. It was most likely about 10:00 because my mom was just now putting Jake to sleep. I
sat in my bed rocking back and forth crying heavily into my pillow. My mom noticed this and quickly came in; it
was no secret that my mom worried about me every day. No mother wouldn’t, she had to raise an incredibly
chronically depressed child, who hated everything about themselves and life for over a decade. She told me
numerous times that she feared she would come home one day- and I would be gone- dead on the floor.

      She asked me what was wrong, and I grabbed her shoulder and I told her with a straight face, tears
streaming down my face: “You haven’t listened to me for years, ever time I’ve come to you about my confusion,
the only answer you can come up with is therapy and medications instead of just listening to me and trying to
help me yourself. So now you’re going to sit down and actually listen to what I have to say.”

To my surprise, I saw her eyes quickly tear up and in a sweet voice she said:
For hours I cried to mom, I told her every problem I ever felt, how kids treated me, how I was hurt when dad left,
how I felt Jake was the favorite in the family and that I had no purpose in the world. And finally I grew
comfortable to tell her that I wasn’t gay, that I was transgender. Of course, the very first thing that pops into her
head is Rocky Horror Picture Show. After I told her, the sound of her voice was pure disappointment
“Can’t you just be gay?...” She said in a quiver, she burst into tears and I couldn’t watch, I knew she was upset
because of me. But I was persistent, I took her hand and we both, tear soaked and all went to the computer in
the back room and I showed her story after story of others that were going through the exact same thing as I
did. She agreed that every story sounded just like me.

Mom turned to me and the very next thing that she said still lingers with me this very day, and I will never forget
the overwhelming relief that I felt when she said these simple words.

“Will this make you happy baby?” Of course, I said yes, I couldn’t contain my raw emotion, it was as if fifteen
years of pain and suffering was suddenly being wiped away from inside. I couldn’t stop crying, nor did I want to,
for the first time I had mom’s full attention. Then, without a moment’s notice.
“Then we’re going to do this; make me a list of everything that you want done. And I will make sure I do every
single thing on it. We won’t stop until you’re happy.” That was the first time anyone in my family attempted to
understand. Unlike all the other times I had tried to talk about my problems, where they would ignore them, or
suddenly I would end up in the halfway house for a mental hospital, Mom stood true to her word. I told her I
wanted a support group, I wanted to change my name, I wanted to start hormones, I wanted to get my final
surgery, and then, I want to make a different in this world so that no other child will ever have to go through the
pain and suffering that I did and living in an unknown stupor where the only thing keeping them from killing
themselves is an unexplainable invisible force, or just pure luck.

      Within the first month after I told mom she had contacted a place in Oklahoma named “OYP” (Open Arms
Youth Project) An LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teen Support Group) It was
a place away from school, away from people who have judged me before. I was so excited to go there and
meet dozens of other transgenders that would help me find my way, help me gain my confidence. Of course, I
went there with my uncombed hair, bushy eyebrows that reached forward into a single eyebrow. I wore baggy
jeans and a long sweater so that my arms, and legs were completely covered. I had my glasses on, and my
braces, to myself I looked completely like a boy.
Sadly, it turns out that I had been the very first transgender that had ever gone to OYP in over ten years! And to
make matters worse, everyone there who I told that I was transgender, didn’t even know what it meant! A
support group that is suppose to not only support, but teach their delegates with information on the genders
and sexes and accepting others. I felt alone again very quickly, especially after a couple of gay guys that were
listening on me and my now very good friend Misti Tufel (The girl I was on CNN with) started inferring that I was
gay, I just liked dressing up as a woman. This not only depressed me, but infuriated me. I tried to explain to
them that they were two separate things, but at the time Misti and a couple of the other kids started to join in
the inference that being transgender just meant that I was a gay boy, who liked dressing in women’s clothing.
Or that I was just gay, and I liked being seen as a woman. I don’t know what made me stay, it was most likely
the fact that even though the kids didn’t quite understand what being transgender meant, they weren’t rude
about it, and they were all willing to listen to what I had to say and my explanation of it. In group they didn’t treat
me like the odd kid in the group that would get picked last when playing basketball in gym, but they actually
cheered me on to introduce myself. Many even outspokenly said that they thought it was amazingly cool, and
unique that I was transgender, especially since none of them had ever met one! Mom went with me every
Thursday that I went, it actually felt like I finally had a family. A family of outcasts just like me, people who I could
relate to in being discriminated against, forgotten, even though they weren’t transgender, they still understood
me to some point. And they made me feel special, welcomed, and unique among them. Slowly I started
changing, I started plucking my eyebrows again, and mom let me grow my hair and nails out finally, as the little
changes started to happen though, mom could notice the almost immediate change in my mood. She noticed
that when I was allowed to go into her closet and actually take the clothes off of the hangers and try them all,
that my tears weren’t sad- they were happy! I would try on every single one of her shirts, all of her pants, and
her dresses, and at first; she would just stand there quietly and just put the clothes back after I was finished with
them. But after a couple of weeks she and I started to grow stronger.

      One day she unhooked one of her very expensive, and beautiful dresses, a snow white dress with beautiful
white features that rimmed around the neck; she set me down and for the first time in my life I had my make-up
done. I felt the base go on, and then the blush, the familiar gloss, and I could easily say, it was the happiest day
of my life. That is until, I got into the dress and in front of the mirror. Mom took pictures as she smiled and
laughed, telling me she couldn’t believe how much I looked like a girl and how she had overlooked my obvious
feminine beauty all this time. I however; I didn’t see beauty, I just saw a boy in a dress still, with still short hair,
glasses, braces, with sculpted eyebrows, and a heavy red lip-stick on. I couldn’t stand the idea of having to
work so hard just to look decently ugly as a girl when other girls can look beautiful without even trying. But, I
couldn’t give up; I couldn’t.

The more I went to OYP, the more the kids understood what being transgender meant. Even though I
introduced myself as Luke when I first arrived at OYP, after about the sixth or seventh week, I asked everyone if
they would start calling me by feminine pronouns and to call me Annie. I also requested this from my mom. Of
course it was hard for her, after all she was raising a son; her third son for fifteen years now, and suddenly she
had to basically- Put her son to death. His name started to be forgotten from her lips, and just like a real death
of a child, she progressed through the stages of mourning. She became depressed, she couldn’t stop crying
for weeks. She became angry, and entered denial, and a stage of bargaining. In the end however, she came
to acceptance, and I could see that she was happy with this acceptance, for the first time in my life, mom didn’t
have to worry about coming home to find me dead on the floor, she could see I was growing, and I was finally

I told my mom that the next thing on my list was to get rid of every single last article of male clothing that I
owned. I told her to sell it, burn it, bury it; I really didn’t care. And whatever money she could lend I wanted to
start buying female’s clothing, at school I would just wear my girl clothing and then wear my jackets over them
to cover them up (Of course these jackets came in great help after I started buying bras.) Very quickly I
progressed down my list. Mom bought me silicone breast enhancers that would serve as my boobs until I
would either get them from hormone therapy or if I decided on surgery. Of course my family at OYP loved this,
in just under a month I had gone from a jacket to normal shirts, and boobs, within a month I had grown more
comfortable in a place full of strangers than I ever did in my own house, with my parents. I got praise for my
actions instead of scolding and harassment, teasing and lectures. I had people begin to tell me that I looked
nice that night, or that I looked really pretty, or that they loved my earrings, or my shirts, or maybe it was my
shoes! I was getting complimented, the only thing I had ever gotten complimented on before in my entire
existence was my grades and how far I would go in life with my intelligence.
I loved the feeling, the feeling of being loved, the feeling of dancing on Saturday Dance Night at OYP in front of
strangers, and people I had never even spoken to, and they come up to me, telling me that I looked very pretty.
I was getting what I wanted, to be able to go out into public and people to see me as a woman. And as my hair
grew longer and my nails grew stronger those compliments only soared!

      Every dollar that mom and I could get together went to buying cheap clothes and shoes that looked
decently nice. I traded in my underwear for panties and bra which felt much more relaxing and comfortable.
Mom didn’t make hardly money at all, so we only had maybe thirty dollars every two weeks to spend on my
clothes, and sometimes that money had to go towards groceries or anything else that came up. Within half a
year my mom; who had ignored my cries for help for over ten years and just let therapists, time and medication
sort out my problems. A mother who cried all the time because she had no idea how to help her child, no
experience on how to help her confused child stop screaming and crying. That same woman, was now behind
me every step I took, like a towering guardian, she helped pick out my clothes, and she would bring in make-
up that they had on discount at her work. She taught me how to apply my make-up, and over the months
through trial and error I developed my own method of apply make-up. And to this very day, my technique of how
I put it on changes, depending on what make-up mom brings me from her friends, or work, and how much
there is. Mom would give me idea of how I wanted to cut my hair, or how I wanted to style it, she printed out
lists of foods I could eat to make my eyes whiter, my hair shiner and less frizzy, shampoo that would help my
hair grow faster and lotion that I could use after I shaved my legs and arms.

I felt so free, for the first time in nearly a decade that angle child that I thought had died a long time ago was
arising from the ashes. It just turned out that the child within me didn’t die, she was just simple suppressed by
all of the self-pity, self-hate, and pile of forced perception of what I could and couldn’t wear; could be and
couldn’t be surrounding it- The dark room –

I cried every night now, but not in sadness or pain, but in utter relief and joy. It felt like I was floating on the
clouds, and that if I kept going, if I let will to survive and thrive take on, then I will accomplish so much. I was
determined to learn to dance, I watched the drag-queens as they danced, and watched videos online, and just
practiced with my friends. Dancing did something to me, as I got better I noticed so did my confidence, so did
my figure. I noticed how my feminine curves started to naturally form the more I danced.
Boys started to flirt with me, asking me out, I kept my situation secret but I let everyone at OYP know that I wasn’
t ready at all for even flirting, I wanted to be completely ready. Every day when I looked into the mirror I noticed
how much face was starting to shape, it was sharp, and my cheekbones were high – I was – beautiful. By
sixteenth birthday my entire family was notified of my change. I was shocked to hear how mom had broken the
news to her brother, sister, and my grandma. All four of which were very close and loved each other dearly,
however, Aunt Stacey and Uncle Doug were born in a Catholic family, and they made it known that if anyone in
the family turned out to be gay they would disown them.
“Lukas is now Annie, she has been a girl this entire time, and I love her just the way she is. And no matter what
happens I’m sticking by her side! So if any of you have a problem with this, then you can get the hell out, and
you might as well never even try to speak to me again.” She said to her mom, sister and brother. A blunt
statement that placed me at the top of her list of importance, she was now willing to risk her entire relationship
with her family just to make me happy. She had cried and stressed for ten years on how to make me even
smile, and now for the first time since I was even a baby I was now not only smiling! But laughing and playing,
and going out in public again, she would rather have died then let that opportunity go.
Uncle Chester, Aunt Jennifer and my Grandma all had… absolutely no issue with it. My Aunt and Grandma
noticed how much happier I was, how I laughed and how I participated in family matter now. They called me
Annie almost immediately and couldn’t wait to hug me. Uncle Doug smiled and laughed whenever he saw me,
he was happy to see his new niece, he just had trouble remembering to call me Annie. After my dad found out
the news, he accepted it rather well, but he too went through the mourning process, however the distance
between us only grew wider from then on. The man had just now had to realize that his first son was dead.

I told all of my friends at school that I trusted with my secret, I held a heavy heart knowing that some of them
would leave me and never want to talk to me. The very first friend I ever told was my friend Angelina, I still
mention her as my best-friend, her parents were extremists when it came to the bible, I even overheard them
that all gays were going to burn in hell, so of course I thought that their teachings would have been passed
down to Angelina, but she was my best-friend; if I couldn’t tell her, would could I tell? I told her the night before
we went to a Jonas Brothers concert (Don’t judge, I thought they were extremely cute.) She was more shocked
than anything. I was afraid at first, because the first twenty seconds was dead silence until all of a sudden she
tells me how there is this incredible good looking guy in her band class that she thinks I would be completely
interested in. I come to find out that this guy was completely straight, I tell her that I don’t think he will be
attracted to me, to which she replied:

“Why wouldn’t he? You’re a woman, and he’s a man. What’s the problem?”
even though she was Catholic, and her parents wouldn’t have approved, nor her siblings, and she wasn’t
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or judged in any way I was, she understood my situation better than
anyone else.

Again to my shock though, not a single friend of mine said they didn’t want to be my friend. In fact, majority of
them were excited for me, and wanted to help me reach my goal. They became my crutches, and my support
beams in school. I was excited.

After Angelina’s parent’s found out, they ordered the school to pull her from any classes that she had with me,
as well as lunch. Her parents also told a numerous amounts of other kid’s parents who then proceeded to
make sure I didn’t even have the same lunch period with their children, even though they had no idea who I
was, or what I looked like, I had just gotten out of a world of depression and harassment, why were the parents
now trying to push me back into it? First the students, then my parents, then the teachers, and then myself, and
now other children’s parents; was there anyone on my side?
Rumors started going around school that I wore a bra under my clothes (which was true) and that I had boobs,
(also true) and how that I had HIV (not true), the list went on and on, the general secret that I wanted to be a girl
was out. I had very long hair, my teeth were now white and straight and I no longer had braces; replaced my
glasses with contacts and all of my baggy jeans were replaced with tight and form fitting jeans. As my the end
of my Sophomore year I started to wear a little bit of make-up each day to school, regardless of comments and
loud outbursts in the hall of how I was gay, or a freak. I couldn’t let these people get me down anymore; I had
come so far in just so little of a time, I was finally happy, I had found the light. There was no way there were
putting me back, I’d have rather died than go back into that dark room!

However, Mom and I ran into a little problem, neither of us had any idea how on earth we would put in a name
change because I was changing sexes. Mom had to change her name a long time ago due to being put in
witness protection because she was raped, but her reason was a little bit more understandable. That, and we
had no idea what doctor we would go to, to get hormones, or how we could get our insurance to cover it. I have
a military insurance, which of course, doesn’t cover anything that has to do with transgender care.

So we found a small place called the Equality Center in downtown Tulsa, that apparently held meetings that
were only for transgender people every Wednesday starting at 8:00. I quickly fell in love with the group,
becoming really close friends with Tom who ran the Center, and Doctor Jill Hernandez, who is a famous
transgender activist and one of my role-models. I had noticed though, that in the group – everyone single
transgender there was in their 50’s, or 60’s maybe even higher! The majority of them hadn’t even had the
basic surgeries yet. I was the youngest transgender that had ever gone to Laura’s meetings. At sixteen years
old, I am one of the youngest transgenders to go through their RLT (Real Life Test) which is a test to make
sure you are truly ready for the sex change of operation. The terms? To live two years as the sex you were
meant to be, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
They guided us to Dr. Hamble a sweet short woman who filled out my hormones the very first day I went to
meet her, and she coded it just right so that my insurance would pay for them! She showed us how to use the
needle and gave me my first day of pills. I was running double the dose that most transgenders were on, most
normal transwomen would get sick on the amount I take on a daily basis. However, it’s a normal dosage for

I was so excited, it hadn’t even been a year yet and here I was, already taking hormones, I hated the needle,
but I didn’t care, all I could think about was how it would change my body. Would I finally be beautiful? Or feel
beautiful, I should say. Would it change my face shape? My voice? My hair? How big will my breasts get? I had
so many questions and my excitement wouldn’t give me the patience to find out, I wanted one year, two years,
three years to already be by so I could see how I would look in the future. Even though I was so excited for my
hormones I wanted to go further. And it turned out, mom had already taken the courtesy of taking the next step
for me. She surprised me with court date – the very next day to get my named changed.

June 28th 2010 was the day I got my named changed, it was also the day after I started my hormones, and – it’
s my mom and dad’s anniversary.

Born on Mother’s Day in my old life, Born on my Mom and Dad’s Anniversary, On the front page two days in a
row in the Tulsa World on Mother’s Day, which opened up my gateway to help other transgender people. It’s
scary how the world works.   

Sophomore year was already over, so over the summer I worked majority of the time at the local Sonic, to
raise money to put aside for my full surgery, putting aside a couple of twenties for food and clothes, I had big
and daring plays for next year. Plans that no one else had ever tried before; Plans on returning to Fremont as
Annie Smith, with my long hair, my same face, and my new courage. I wanted to show everyone that I had
made it, that I had conquered death, fear, discrimination, and that I was no longer hiding in the shadows. But
ready to spread my wings and become the woman I always was, the woman I deserved to be. I went on CNN
and talked about being transgender and how it affected me, I talked for just a short time, but it was the first
taste of advocating I got, and I was immediately hooked, I had people I had never even met before at OYP
come up to me and tell me that their parents had accepted them for being lesbian, or gay, because I had
explained it so well on my five minute interview. I had my friends come up to me crying because they told me
that they’re friends parents finally understand them, or how their friend’s mom had disowned her a year before
because she was lesbian and how she begged her daughter for forgiveness because she didn’t really have a
reason to believe that she didn’t chose to be lesbian; I had given her that reason apparently. I didn’t feel like I
had said anything exquisite. Until I started advocating more, speaking at OYP, giving my friends advice,
seeing how I could always cheer them up, seeing how they always trusted me, I could see I had a very special
skill in speaking, It came naturally, and I had the power to easily take my audience by speaking directly from
my heart. Even if my experience wasn’t the hardest, it was the hardest to overcome. In just six months it takes
more courage to stand up from a world of hate, depression, and judgment into a new life where you continue to
fight through the same crowd to prove to them that you will not lie down and give up. I deserved respect, and
love and I wasn’t going to wait and cry any longer when the finish line was right in front of me. Sure – it was
through miles and miles of thorns and fire, blistering demons and screaming temptations, but I kept running
through the field, no matter what cuts that were afflicted on me, or what words were yelled at me.

I came back my junior year as Annie, and I will admit, my courage broke and I was defeated… once. And only
once, I went into hiding for six months to recover, taking online classes hoping that I could just finish high-
school away from the students and then I wouldn’t have to worry about proving them anything. However – fate
had different plans. I only lasted one day on my first day of Junior year, kids were violent and roared at me from
down the hall that I was a freak, the jocks would turn around and spit in my face and push me down before
walking off in mocking laughter. The teachers were informed ahead of time that I was in the school, so they had
to treat me with respect, and to keep the children from teasing me. This wasn’t the case at all, kids would call
me a fag from just across the room, and most of my teachers wouldn’t utter a word to stop their laughing and
pointing. Every class that day was constant pointing, laughing, silent names, and rumors being brewed. I had
some girls who would bump into me at the door and mention at how I made such an ugly girl before snickering
off with their gang of three or four other girls. I had only thought that this much hate and ignorance was only
possible in the movies… It wasn’t, it was a sincere nightmare.

I wasn’t allowed to use the bathrooms, so I had to travel all the way to the nurse’s office just to fix my hair, or
wash my hands, I never use the toilet in public restrooms. And the one time in that day that I used the
bathroom, when I returned, my bag was gone and it wasn’t found until the end of day by one of my friends in the
men’s bathroom in the science building, luckily nothing was stolen out of it, I only had pencils and erasers in it
after all, wouldn’t have been a total loss if they had taken those!

I’m sure you can see why I didn’t go back the next day. I was impressed by my ambition to not just go to the
front office and call my mom and pick me up, but I made it to the very end.

Is that the end of the story though? The girl who came so far and swore she wouldn’t be defeated rolls over and
takes the dagger to the gut? No, no at all. It turns out that even though I had left Fremont, the harassment and
rumors still continued to move all across the school. Even after six months people still were talking about “it.” I
forgot to mention, but my dad retired and became a school teacher… at Fremont no less! Yes, so the dad that
left me, the same dad who loved me more than anything in the world, but then stopped suddenly and left me for
my “better” sibling works just next door to the building that I attend every day. There’s the universe humor
again! People felt sorry for my dad and would come to his office and offer their condolences to him for his
“tragedy” they made it sound like I had literally died! But no, the tragedy of course, was because I was
embracing what nature messed up at first, and then what nature was fixing. I started looking like a girl, with
beautiful blue eyes, just like my daddy’s. And then I lost my blue eyes and they were replaced with grey, I turned
into a foul boy, depressed and angry. I looked hideous as a male and not only that, I didn’t being a male! I didn’
t care if I bathed or changed clothes. And then, within six months; Grey turned to a sharp green, just like my
mom’s. My light brown hair took on her black, and I turned into a beautiful woman, a spitting image of my
mother. No one would ever look at me and ever guess I was ever male. Just like when I was a baby, when I
was a child, I have nerve, nerve to roam free and to hold my head high and have fun. And I had a chance, my
dad had my chance, hence why I had his soft blue eyes, his smile. If he would have only kept loving me, I may
be even more beautiful than I am not, and who knows if simple logic prevails my hazel eyes may have
remained dominate towards their blue hue, soft and clear. Instead, mom’s eyes, sharp and green took over,
her chance gave me a new opening. And I could never repay her for it.  

And I had heard that one of my old teachers Mr. Peter, was showing his class the video I had done for CNN
and was laughing about it from one of my close friends, Mary. Apparently he was giving the kids in the class
the URL of the website on youtube and letting them all laugh at it, he made comments like: “This is ridiculous.”
“To think I had him in class!” and when my mom heard word of these accusations and confronted Mike and
Fremont High School about these issues, Mike admitted to everything. However, Fremont High School didn’t
perform any action against his actions, because, “I wasn’t a student there anymore.” I guess the anti-bullying
policy doesn’t apply anymore.

This was that angry push I needed, and my courage was sparked once again, I was going to show them that I
wasn’t a coward and that I was going to make them eat their words. Did they think that just because I was born
with a harder life than any of them that makes me someone who’s lesser than them? I don’t think so.

      That following semester, I came back – and I never left. They spit, in my face, I spit right back, they
snickered and laughed I just acted like they weren’t even worth my time. People who made comments to me, if
I knew them I would sketch their name down, and demand the principal to call them in, and I wouldn’t leave until
they arrived there and I made sure they sat down and got comfortable being making sure that the principal or
counselor was actually going to do something about it. I knew it was illegal to go into the girl’s restroom, but I
did anyways, and of course someone complained, but I will fight, legal charges or not, I refuse to be
suppressed anymore. And because of my courage, to do something that no other transgender has ever done
in the state of Oklahoma before; I will be the very first Open Transgender to every graduate from an Oklahoma

Because of my advocating I have become very respected members and delegates of OYP, and the Equality
Center; after getting into the Tulsa World and then speaking at the Jewish Retreat as a simple favor for a
friend I became a national hero, a symbol of courage and a very happy advocate, and – a very loved and joyful
woman and daughter. I went from Lukas, the stranger who wore a jacket and stood in the corner alone. To
Annie Smith, the incredible beauty, Vice President of OYP, who always knew what to say, who always had the
right answers, and was a friend that you could always count on. I became this completely new and improved
person within under six months… I made it to points in my transition that had taken people more than 50 years
to get to. And it’s not because I had money, it’s not because I had a huge support group, and it’s definitely not
because I had a guide book telling me what I needed to do, in what order. All I had, was thirty dollars every two
weeks, an amazing mother, A chance, and a lot of nerve.
I was once in a dark room that had no exit, just a teasing sliver of light that streamed through the keyhole of the
door in the abyss. All I needed was the key, I didn’t know who had it though. It turns out, there were two keys.
The first key – was nerve, nerve to stand up above all of the hate that was falling down upon me and to realize
that I deserved to be happy, and that I couldn’t let the world put me down anymore, I had to stand strong and
prove that I could overcome whatever the world could throw at me. I had this key with me all along. The second
key – Was a chance… A chance to show that I could - A chance to be happy; to show that this wasn’t a curse,
but a blessing, a blessing that was meant to make me stronger, a blessing that was only meant for me – I was
alone – but in the best possible way. This path, this life was only given to me because I alone, was the one to
be able to survive it, to triumph over it. My mother held chance with her, without her – There was no way I would
have been give the opportunity, the power, the confidence that I had a bodyguard with me to take a chance,
and do what I’ve done. After I had both keys, I took my time opening the door, making sure that I had everything
ready, and taking the time to let my eyes adjust to the light that bellowed out of the door. As soon as it was
open, I looked outward, and what I saw was life, the world. Before me stood me as a child, only, I was a small
baby girl, long flowing brown hair, a beautiful white dress on and a cheeky smile on, she emitted such a
precious light; dried my tears. The abyss behind me faded away with a gentle song, the door vanishing, I never
had to go back, and even if I wanted to, that same indescribable force that held my hand from cutting myself, or
untied the ropes from the blocks, pushed me forward, a guardian angel that continues to this day to take my
shoulder and slowly push me forward, guiding me where I need to go, keep me strong and balanced