Former Marine Chronicles Journey Coming Out As A Trans Woman On YouTube

“For years I was running in the opposite direction, but Marines adapt and overcome.”

1. “I was born in 1982, in a boy’s body,” recalls Sona Avedian – a trans woman and former Marine who shared her personal story in Youtube video earlier this year.

2. The video documents Sona’s long journey towards coming out as a trans woman starting from childhood.

3. “I wanted to tell someone before going to college, but my parents began a rough divorce and I decided to go another route,” Sona explains in the video.


4. “Ashamed of myself, I hid behind the mask of a U.S. Marine.”


5. Feeling isolated and alone, Sona requested to be stationed in Japan for 4 years.” It wasn’t until 2001 that Sona stumbled upon the term “transgender” on the internet.

Although the discovery was an immense relief, the urge to live a “normal” life was even stronger. “I was taking it to my grave,” Sona recalls.

6. Finishing up with the U.S. Marine Corps in 2005, Sona worked as a contractor overseas and even started a family.

“I thought getting married would help me cope.”


7. “In total denial of denial, I overcompensated.” After 9 years living overseas Sona had reached a self-described “235 lbs of sadness.”


8. In August of 2012, an exhausted Sona made the decision to make a serious change – she prepared to come out to her loved ones.

“I thought I had this being a man thing down. Ya know, like being a marine with a great wife, a beautiful child, a well paying job, […] and even a good sense of humor - all to fill my voids.”

9. In November of 2012 Sona finally came out to her friends and family, making the decision to begin transitioning.

10. Sona’s parting message: “This is not about passing, it never was. It’s about being YOU, no matter what society thinks – and that is beautiful.”

Video is NSFW

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Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at
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