Two Thousand Fourteen has been a helluva year for There have been extreme highs and some minor lows, but overall I feel as if I’ve been given more freedom to be myself and begin to really figure out who that self is. The following are things that I’m most proud of or what had the most profound impact on my life.
This list is in chronological order.
1) Coming Out — The month of February
It was really in December of 2013 that I became fully aware of myself as trans, but in February, I began coming out. I came out first to my friends in my school’s LGBTQ group, then to my partner, and then to more acquaintances. I live socially transitioned with the exception of around my family–but they live 900 miles away and I see them only once a year–who I may never come out to.
Coming out has been profound. A weight has been lifted from my soul and feelings and memories from my past are becoming clearer every day. I am excited to begin my physical and legal transition, but i’m taking everything very slow.
2) Becoming President of CCNY’s LGBTQ Open Alliance — 16th April 2014
I was elected unanimously to run our little queer group. I was so flattered and it feels so great to make my senior year mean something. So far–I’m halfway through my tenure–we’ve done a lot of safe-sex education and mental health programming. Next semester, we’ll hopefully be tackling trans stuff, religion stuff, as well as HIV stuff. I’m also hoping to hold a queer prom.
3) Testifying at the Office of National AIDS Policy Listening Session — 7th August 2014
In August, the nonprofit I work for attended a listening session hosted by the United States AIDS czar–appointed by Barack Obama–and the New York State Director of the Department of Health on the state of National and State HIV poliy and projections about the end of AIDS. New York State hopes to steeply cut the number of new infections by 2020, a lofty goal, and one I’m not sure they’ll accomplish. In my opinion, investing some of the money they spend on surveillance and presentations on a cure could help much more, but I digress. I chose to give testimony regarding the lack of scientific data about trans men: our sexual habits and how likely we are to contract HIV. Some data exists regarding trans women, but absolutely none for ftms. A whole subset of the MSM population is flying completely under the radar, and I’m not okay with that.
4) Moving! — 8th September 2014
My partner and I moved from long time house in Queens to an apartment in the City. His house was beautiful, but it was not feasible for him and his disability. Our apartment in upper Manhattan is beautiful. It’s still not 100% together, as moving from a house to an apartment is hard work, but it’s ours and it will be perfect someday.
5) My First Physical Print Publication — 1st December 2014
In November, I was recruited into working for my college’s magazine. They wanted me to write a piece about being trans at our school. I was thrilled. They gave me a two-page spread–impressive for a twenty-page publication–and an open invitation to write more. When the magazine was released, I ran around campus showing everyone, shouting “it me!” like an overgrown three-year-old.
That about does it for Topher’s personal life 2014. Stay tuned for more, even though this is all becoming horrendously late.