Meet Ascher, National TRUTH Council Member

My name is Ascher.

I am 16 years old and this is about my journey of coming out. In the beginning it was little things. I’d look in the mirror and everything just wouldn’t look right. My messy long hair didn’t look right in the styles I forced it into. My chest felt wrong in the bras I wore to school everyday. I felt ugly when I looked at myself, but it wasn’t just low self-esteem… it felt like something different. Like something I couldn’t put my finger on.

I’ve always been tomboyish so maybe I’m growing out of it… I would think to myself and then I’d put on a dress and try to think I looked pretty, but nothing I tried made me feel good about myself. This started an ongoing battle with depression (there were also other factors, but this is one of the big ones).

So then I found out about the trans community. At the time I knew very little about it but as I learned more and more I thought…Well maybe I’m trans. But I dismissed the idea because I believed at the time you could only know when you were little. After some dwelling and thinking (and I’m talking like a whole entire summer times worth of dwelling) I decided to identify with non-binary as a title. It felt good I was experimenting with pronouns and names. I settled on the name Ash because it just had this connection to me I don’t know what it was.

After a few months of contemplating it and still dwelling on it and thought about how non-binary didn’t feel right. I felt more masculine than anything and everything was getting kinda hard. I was starting to slip into a deeper depression and at that point I had really hit rock bottom.

Over the summer of me going into my last year of middle school I was sent to a psychiatric hospital to help me with my mental health. There I met another trans person who kinda helped me come to terms with the fact I was a trans male. Knowing this information was terrifying and relieving at the same time. What would my mother say? Would she disown me? Would she completely ignore my trans identity because I hadn’t known as a child? What about my dad? He knew me as his little girl, not as his little boy. This was a difficult process. After three months, I told my therapist at the time to tell my mother for me. I know that’s not traditional, but I was so afraid of having to see her reaction to the news I’d had probably thrown up if I had to do it myself.

“You can come back in (insert birthname)” I was terrified to say the least. What would she say? Would she yell? Would she tell me no?

She said she already knew- that the way I dressed lately and the way I acted as a child had told her that I would possibly be trans. She even told me that her and my father had a conversation about it when I was younger and talked about the possibility of me being trans.

In the end it worked out well! I finally came out to my father. At first he blamed himself, but now he is very accepting. We talked about my transness with my doctor. She recommended a support group for me and through them we found and endocrinologist and I’m now 1 year and 11 months on testosterone! I also changed my name from Ash to Ascher. I Spell it with a c instead of just Asher because a friend of mine recommended the spelling to me and I really really liked it so I stuck with it.

My journey has been long and hard, but now I can confidently say it did get better for me. Life is kinda confusing, especially when having to choose your own name and pronouns and having to figure out an identity that corresponds with how you feel but in the end everything sets in place, and we get stronger.