Dear Mr. Baker,
Hello, my name is Elijah. I’m a 14 year old boy, 11 year citizen of Massachusetts. All my memories are from living here, and I’m proud to call it home. I feel safe and accepted here, and proud to be myself.
I can express the fact that I love music and books and sports. I can pose for a picture with my odd half-smile I always do. I gladly present myself in a more masculine way while remaining androgynous with my personality. I am proud to be who I am.
I just want to feel safe telling people that I’m transgender.
I was assigned female at birth, and was always told I was my parent’s little princess. But I didn’t want to be a princess. I wanted to play with my action figures and lip sync to Toy Story and be a ninja. All traditionally male things were my favorite. So more pink was brought upon until my mother finally gave up.
As soon as I started wearing traditional boy’s clothes, I felt so safe in my body. I felt content. Pink leggings and sparkly shirts were a thing of the past, and my new basketball shorts and black tank tops were my go-to outfit (they still are today).
I’m not pretending that once I started dressing masculine, all my problems went away. I heard what people said about me, calling me a lesbian and taunting me for shopping in the boy’s department and wearing boxers. Some of these people were my closest friends.
Dysphoria made it worse. I was growing into the body of a young female, and unfortunately for me, was bestowed with an hour glass figure and a rather large chest. I became extremely depressed and ended up in a hospital for awhile.
When I came out as transgender, I expected dysphoria to disappear, and for everyone to call me Eli and use male honorifics and treat me like the boy I was. But that didn’t happen, and it was impossible that it ever would. I lost people close to me when I came out. People talked about me. I got called the t slur to my face. But I never let that get me down.
Here I am today, nearly 8 weeks on testosterone. I’m starting to get recognized as male in public, and strangers call me ‘sir’. I stand up for who I am, and I am no longer ashamed to call myself transgender. I am queer and I am proud. But not everyone is on the same page
I’m asking you, Mr. Baker, to please listen to me and Freedom Massachusetts. We are fighting for our basic rights as humans. We are not demanding that all cisgender people pay transgender people thousands of dollars. I ask that I be granted the knowledge that when I go into a public space, I won’t be kicked out. I am a citizen of Massachusetts, of the United States, where everyone deserves the right to be who they are.
Mr. Baker, I trust that you will make the right decision and stand on the right side of history and join me and Freedom Massachusetts in getting the Public Accommodations bill passed.