A touching interview about the struggles and victories of Lucy Langland, a proud MTF transgender HS student.
*How old were you when you first began transitioning?
-Well, pretty much my whole life I felt different. Whenever my sister and I played imaginary games, I always pictured myself as a girl. Around 6th and 7th grade, I thought I was gay because I really liked guys but I still didn’t feel right in that group. They were more comfortable with themselves than I was. I finally understood what I was feeling and I slowly began transitioning. I started with just pinning back my hair and wearing lip stick and eventually started dressing in my mom’s clothes… so I can’t remember the exact age but around 7th grade. And I’ve been doing the same ever since except that I sew a lot of my skirts on my own.
*What was the process like to get your name changed (what paperwork did you have to fill out, what was the most difficult piece, and were there any road blocks you faced)?
-It took a year and a half to get it done. Lots of official paperwork like fingerprints and of course they took their sweet time getting back to us. The biggest road block we faced was having to put it in the newspaper. We didn’t want to do that because I didn’t want people to know all about my business, but I got over that because I knew how much it would mean in the end. It was minor compared to the end result. The judge was nice enough to pass it, so we didn’t have to do it in the end, but after that I just went to court and… easy peasy from there. The process itself is long and difficult but it’s worth it. It was really an amazing feeling to walk out of there knowing that I legally had the name I always wanted.
*How much did your parents have to do to help you?
-They had to help a lot with the name change because of legal issues. Everything had to be done with both parents because I am a minor. My dad was against it but then he realized that it had to be done and that it was important to me. He never “supported” it exactly, but he also didn’t fight it. He just signed what needed to be signed. It’s sad though because I know that a lot of trans kids don’t have this support system and end up on the streets or wanting to die. It just makes me realize how lucky and fortunate I am, especially with my mother’s love and support.
*How do you deal with the negative responses of people toward the transgender community?
-Well, I say “Go get a life!” It’s not for them to be so rude and horrible. Like don’t they have their own jobs or kids? Just do something better with your life rather than try to ruin ours because of some difference of opinion. I mean, we are just being who we are and people don’t have to accept it but they should respect it. Every day I have to worry about people like that… who throw their kids out on the streets… or abuse them mentally and/or physically. There are times when I just go home and cry and think about why people have to be so disgusting to us when we’re just like them. But we, as the LGBT community, need to stay strong together and be thankful for each other. Focus on the people who care about is and are helping and fighting for us.
*What advice would you give to someone going through a similar situation?
-Stay strong… There are going to be people who want to hurt you and make fun of and trick you, but just surround yourself with people that care about you. There will be a moment when life feels like sh*t, but it’s going to get better. Times are changing and you’re the person changing it.
*What do you believe people should do to be more supportive and informed on the transgender community?
-Learn about the people. People are afraid of change, so you just need to learn about us and seek information to be informed. If you still don’t agree, then at least respect our decisions and don’t treat us differently then you would any stranger just walking on the street. There’s no need to be horrible. Even if you aren’t a supporter, that does not give you any reason to be cruel. Just be respectful. We’re all human beings and deserve decency.