- BBC World News
Growing up in a small town can be difficult for any teenager: there is not much to do and any kind of difference is noticeable.
For a trans teenager, this is even more serious, as 20-year-old Lily explains in the new BBC documentary “Lily: A Transgender Story,” in which she talks about her life and transition.
“It was difficult growing up in a small place,” he says. “I think I knew from when I was much younger that I didn’t fit in, even before I started my transition.”
He didn’t have many friends. “Living in a very small town, there were a lot of ignorance on any minority, “he continues.
“When I started my transition, I had a group of good friends around me and that helped, because it put all the negative people out of my mind.”
Lily’s parents were also very supportive and in fact participate in her documentary, but the internet was an important element for her to realize who she was.
“The first time I saw a trans person was on YouTube”
“When I was about 10 years old, I discovered the first trans person on YouTube,” says Lily, from Aberystwyth, a coastal town in West Wales.
She now has her own channel where she talks openly and frankly about her transition, but admits that she has not made a video for a long time, now she prefers Instagram).
“I think it was a andortuber the one who was already following that later it was declared trans“he continues.
“It didn’t really matter to me in a sense, because my mom and dad always raised me in a pretty inclusive way and I’m very open-minded, but I think a few weeks later, I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea.”
“I said to myself: ‘This makes a lot of sense, I’ve had these kinds of feelings all my life that I didn’t know what they were, now I’ve learned that not everyone feels this way, and this could mean something.’ That’s how I basically found out a big part from my”.
So she started to make a social transition first: she told people about her gender, started using feminine pronouns, and dressing accordingly, while she was in school.
Remember that although had to endure some “sarcastic comments”, her group of friends represented a great source of support.
“I pray for the day that a child can live their transition smoothly”
One of her reasons that motivated her to make the documentary was to show other trans teens that the same people exist, and hopefully teach those who don’t know anything about trans people – or even have prejudices against them – that she doesn’t. She is more than a girl leading a normal life.
“I hope and pray for the day that a child can live their transition without problems and without being judged, especially by their peers at school. But that is the reality,” he says.
While trans people are becoming more visible and accepted in many areas (actor Elliot Page, for example, was praised by many in the LGBT community when he publicly declared himself trans, and Delaware recently elected the first trans state senator in the US. UU.), There is also inexcusable coverage, an online speech about trans people and debates about whether their basic rights affect cisgender women.
Of course, this is just Lily’s story and each trans’s experience can be very different, but Lily indicates that she sometimes feels compelled to stand up for herself and other trans online.
“As a trans person, waking up every day and going out is political,” he explains.
“It doesn’t matter if you have a platform with many or few followers, you have to speak and fight for what you think. “
“I will always defend myself and my community, and I will never allow another member of my community to be belittled by another person. I don’t think the fight for trans people is remotely over anytime soon.”
“It is exhausting”
“Some days it’s hard, you wake up and see someone else on TV or on the internet discriminating against trans people, it’s exhausting,” he continues.
“My boyfriend and I talk about this a lot, and he always says, ‘If these people knew you and saw how normal you are, and what solo you try to live your lifeto without harming a nadie… ‘. I think many of their views would change. I’m only 20 years old! “
Lily’s boyfriend, Adam, is also featured in the documentary: the couple moved into Lily’s parents’ home during confinement, and he was there supporting her, along with her parents, when her gender reassignment surgery had to be postponed due to pandemic.
The couple met in Birmingham, central England, where Lily moved before the Covid-19 pandemic exploded. She laughs when she remembers the great conversation: when she told him she was trans.
“I think he found out for himself!” He recalls. “He found a video online and he watched it without telling me anything. It was funny, I think I sat him down one day and I said, ‘Adam, I need to tell you something,’ and he said, ‘yeah, I know.’
“I am fortunate to have such a caring and open-minded partner. Sometimesyou can have that conversation and it can go very wrong. It’s scary to have that conversation when you meet someone you really like, you don’t want that word to change the way someone sees you. “
“Some people think, oh she’s trans, does that mean I’m gay? with Adam it did not happenor none of that, he just wanted to know me for who I am. “
This is the kind of response she expects from people who watch the documentary.
“The main reason I accepted all this and decided to do it was because I just want to show any child who is faced with something like that I live my life and things get better“.
“I love the idea of someone watching it and maybe not having an open mind towards the trans community and ending the documentary with a different perspective. I’m very excited for people to see it.”
Now you can receive notifications from BBC Mundo. Download the new version of our app and activate them so you don’t miss our best content.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.