Pride 2017 is here and we are chatting to some amazing LGBT+ people. Today Reuben shares his story with us.
“As a child I didn’t have the language to describe how I felt. I just felt like I had a black cloud following me around. I had this inability to feel comfortable but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. I had my first panic attack in year four. I never felt connected to anyone or anything, never felt that I was there in the room. I couldn’t connect to myself, I couldn’t feel.
I didn’t meet a trans person until my 18th birthday. It was a massive eye opener. I did hours of research on the internet, reading blogs and watching YouTube videos. It was an infatuation for a couple of months before I put myself there – it’s quite surreal to realise ‘that’s my life’. Thankfully my parents have always accepted everything I’ve said. My sister was really supportive too.
I decided to transition when I started university in Brighton. I felt very exposed and faced a lot of challenges with the people around me. It’s not just an internal battle, you’re fighting the world as well.
When I walked through the door at Allsorts Youth Project I could feel all of my fear and anxiety peeling away. There people take you on what pronoun you use and what your name is. At first I used my birth name but after a week I dropped it and went for Reuben. It was so liberating. You feel like you’re removing something toxic out of you and it’s really refreshing. They gave me 1-to-1 support, counselling, information advice and guidance.
These days I feel like a completely different person. I have been working at Allsorts for two years now and am a Trans Youth Support Worker which enables me to support other people who are trans.”
AllSorts Youth Project is supported by Comic Relief funding, to help LGBT+ people like Reuben.