Taylor has amassed over 11,000 followers on Instagram for showing her transition story online. She has inspired hundreds to live as their true, authentic selves, and, honestly, the photos are stunning. She took to Reddit to explain that coming out as transgender was a huge step for her and how embracing her true gender saved her life.
There are over 1.4 million transgender people living in the US as of 2021, according to Gallup.
Taylor from Colorado is one of them. For the past two years, she has been recording her transition from male to female in the form of pictures. At 22 years old, she said she had always felt constant dysphoria with her own body.
The National Center for Transgender Equality defines 'transgender' as "people whose gender identity is different from the gender they were thought to be at birth." They say that people can realize they are transgender or 'trans' at any age, however "some people may spend years feeling like they don't fit in without really understanding why, or may try to avoid thinking or talking about their gender out of fear, shame, or confusion."
Trying to repress or change one's gender identity doesn't work; in fact, it can be very painful and damaging to one's emotional and mental health.
Transgender people risk social stigma, discrimination, and harassment when they tell other people who they really are. Parents, friends, coworkers, classmates, and neighbors may be accepting—but they also might not be, and many transgender people fear that they will not be accepted by their loved ones and others in their life. Despite those risks, being open about one's gender identity, and living a life that feels truly authentic, can be a life-affirming and even life-saving decision.
Taylor explained the true story of her transition on her Reddit.
"I guess I just feel like a real person now. Like, everything was gray before. I was alive, but I wasn't living, if that makes sense. I was acting like a real person and doing things that real people did but everything felt pretend.
"Even just after starting hormones, the difference was astounding. I only had estrogen in my body for a couple of days and everything had noticeably changed. It was like an alarm had been ringing in the back of my head my entire life and I was so used to it that I thought it was normal, but all of a sudden it was gone and for the first time in my life I could actually LIVE and hear everything so clearly without the alarm drowning everything out."
Taylor says that transitioning "honestly saved my life."
"I was in great physical condition after growing up overweight, but my body still felt wrong. I eventually worked things out, got the right hormones, felt more at home in my body, but for various reasons, I sorta let my healthy habits slip away. But I'M BACK 🥳 I'm getting back into shape again, eating right, sleeping great, and falling back into those good habits is so much easier this time around 😊," they said in an Instagram post.
"Then, as my body started changing, I'd wake up every day excited to notice something new." She wrote.
"My muscles I hated so much (I lifted weights a lot in my denial phase) were suddenly shrinking, my boobs were growing, my skin was softer and more sensitive to the touch. I'd bump my chest against the door frame 'cause I wasn't used to having anything there to bump. A few months later, the same thing started happening with my hips."
"I started seeing a real person in the mirror. Like the mask I'd worn my whole life was slowly fading away and each day my reflection made more and more sense."
"I started experiencing emotions like I always wished I could. I experienced emotions I didn't even know existed."
"When I felt angry or sad, I didn't have to bottle things up and let them out in bursts of anger. I could cry and feel and experience the sadness and feel it slowly melt away from me."
"So I guess in summary, I feel 'real' now. I feel happy and right and content and grateful that I'm finally able to live as a real person."