Words by Jake Patterson @absolutely_jake @transjake_
I'm Jake, a transman living in York. I’ve been writing music for about 6 years as an emotional outlet and I do clay work to relax. I will be making a GoFundMe and selling clay boobs for my top surgery this summer. Follow my journey to get there at @transjake_
My story started when I was 12-13 years old and began questioning my sexuality. I didn’t know what trans was at that age (the North-East is very sheltered unfortunately). I knew I was attracted to women and I thus I thought I was a lesbian. I was never taught that sexuality and gender are different, and I think that’s a conundrum many of us face at that age. So, I came out at around 14.
My parents didn’t take it well. For about two years I was away from home, staying with friends. Luckily I had a wonderful queer chosen family at the time and I began learning more about the concept of 'gender identity'. That way I began experimenting with it; I did things like shaving my hair and dressing more masculine; I even tried binding and it felt great, but I clung to the “lesbian” identity that I had placed on myself because I was fearful to be anything else. After moving to university I met so many wonderful trans and gender non-conforming people and that way I learned ever more about these identities.
The more I learned the more I related, the more I began asking myself questions. But again I was scared to give myself answers. I represented LGBTQIA+ students at YUSU for two years and was surrounded by empowering queer women and men, and most importantly I met so many wonderful trans* people who were so powerful, so strong and taught me so much (they know who they are). I can’t help but thank them.
When lockdown 2020 hit I sat with myself, and gave myself the answers I’d been burying deep inside of me. I knew I was trans. I knew I wanted a new name and I knew I wasn’t a lesbian woman. I’m fancy, a super queer, quirky, smart and energetic man! I found a love for myself and my identity that I had never experienced and I am so grateful. A message I would like to give to anyone experiencing anything like I have, or similar, don’t put pressure on yourself. Gender is a social construct and not something that you nor I have to follow, they are not rules. Gender is simply a word, and what you do with that word or how you express it is up to you and nobody else. As long as you’re making yourself happy and keeping safe, you are living a successful life. Happy Transgender Day of Visibility!
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