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What Trans Youth Need To Hear Right Now, According To Trans Adults

"Trans youth, I see you. You are more than your body. You are perfect. I love you, and it will get better.”

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We asked trans and gender-nonconforming adults what they think young trans people need to hear right now, whether that's advice, words of encouragement, or a piece of inspiration. Here are their letters:

1. "I see you. You are more than your body."

Basil Soper

"When I was six years old, I remember talking to my Dad about how the other boys teased me — threw the ball harder at me, and stomped their feet in protest when I became the catcher. I felt rejected. In retrospect, I think I was telling him that I felt like these boys were searching for any crack in my identity so they could tear me wide open, expose me, and make me leave their club. I didn’t understand why, though, seeing as I was a boy too. My father laughed in anger and said, 'If you’re a boy, then why don’t you have a dick?' It was the first time that I felt torn open and like something was wrong with me.

I finally transitioned twenty years later. Today, I am free and live as the man I’ve always imagined I was. I’m an uncle, a writer, a boyfriend, and kind. I am myself. I still live in a world that sometimes dissects me hoping to find a crack. Only now, when they find one of those cracks, the process still stings but only motivates me to continue being myself. I realize, now, that their meanness and ignorance is about them, not me.

Trans youth, I see you. You are more than your body. You are perfect. I love you, and it will get better."

Basil Soper

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2. "I will tell you — it will get hard before it gets easier and that's reality."

Provided to BuzzFeed

"To young trans kids out there I will tell you — it will get hard before it gets easier and that's reality. Changing the thought process of wondering why you are the way you are will be beneficial in the long run. You are a gift, you are art, never let anyone tell you anything else. One day life will make sense, and your journey will be worth it. You are worth it. Surround yourself with nothing but love, and loving people. Live your best life possible, you deserve nothing less. I love you."

Isis King

3. "You come from a community of resilient people. We've always been here, holding each other down, and will continue to be here — striving and surviving."

@girlpublic

"You are enough. You are worthy. You come from a community of resilient people. We've always been here, holding each other down, and will continue to be here — striving and surviving. Stay authentic and know you're loved."

Dr. Van Bailey

4. "I was once a trans youth, navigating high school with the added pressure of questioning why I didn't feel at home in my body."

Provided to BuzzFeed

"I was once a trans youth, navigating high school with the added pressure of questioning why I didn't feel at home in my body. In the girl's locker room, my teammates seemed so at ease with their prescribed gender roles, while I avoided anything feminine. My body was changing, but not in the way I wanted it to.

I dreamed of wearing khaki pants, button downs, and a suit just like the other boys. My mind and spirit said 'boy,' but other people didn't see me that way. I didn't get to transition until the age of 22, and I'm here to tell you, the trans youth of America, that I made it through. I found my way, and I know you will too. As much as Trump tries to push our country backwards and tell you that you don't matter, I want you to know that the opposite is true. You are worthy, human, and stronger than you know.

When you feel bullied, scared, or fearful, you can turn to us trans adults for guidance and support. We are millions strong, our community growing bigger every day with more people coming out. So when someone tries to make you feel less than human, I want you to look in the mirror and repeat the following: "I am strong, I am human, I am good, I am going to make it. You can do this. We are all with you."

Tony Zosherafatain

5. "Let your voice be heard. You may be young, but that does not mean your opinion and intelligence doesn't matter."

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"Do not give up on your goals, no matter what they are. I am here to tell you, YOU ARE HERE!! At 5 years old, I knew I would become someone great and throughout the years I have continued to define what that means. I know it feels like we are on a battlefield against society, but guess what? You've got some outstanding warriors fighting for the young kings and queens! You're not alone in being afraid, angry and confused. It is okay to talk about it, journal about it, even write a song. You may be young, but that does not mean your opinion and intelligence doesn't matter. I 'luv u' and I will continue to help you rise. So stand tall and proud my young kings & queens, because YOU MATTER!"

Dezjorn Gauthier

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6. "We might be wounded, but the wound is the place where the light gets in."

Provided to BuzzFeed

"All I can say is that we have been fighting for trans rights for so long. We won't let the trump presidency ruined a safe space in the society for our trans youth. We might be wounded, but the wound is the place where the light gets in. You're a warrior."

Peche Di

7. "You have the right to be respected. You have the right. To. Be. Angry.

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"You have the right to feel safe and affirmed at school. You have the right to use whichever bathroom or locker room is most comfortable for you. You have the right to choose not to change in front of your peers for gym class. You have the right to be called by the name of your choice. You have the right to bind, tuck, pack, and stuff however you please. You have the right to flirt, make out, and have sex in ways that affirm your identity. You also have the right to say 'no' to anything, at any time. You have the right to refuse to answer questions about your gender. You have the right to wear whatever clothing makes you feel most comfortable. You have the right to step out out of class if you feel overwhelmed. You have the right to be respected. You have the right. To. Be. Angry."

Sonny Oram

8. "I know that things can feel scary, that our schools, our governments, our own bodies betray us. I am here to listen to you, to guide you, to fight for you toward your own sense of home in your body, in your school, in your society."

Alex Troesch

"I want you to know that you are beautiful and you are loved. No matter what action the government takes, your existence is proof of our community's legacies of survival and resistance. You are carrying on a drive to live and love and transform that has been passed on to you from our elders —particularly the black women and femmes who guided our movements to the present. I know that things can feel scary, that our schools, our governments, our own bodies betray us. I am here to listen to you, to guide you, to fight for you — toward your own sense of home in your body, in your school, in your society. Seek us out, we are here living for you and fighting for you. Take care of yourself.

When I was younger, I never could have imagined myself as an adult. I never could have imagined I could have a child, a job, a vision. I never imagined that I would exist inside a body that I love. But I do. Stay with us and fight. You are beautiful and perfect just as you are and you are part of my family. "

Chase Strangio

9. "There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I love you very much."

"Having grown up as a trans woman in the small town of Yarmouth, Maine, I can only say this — believe in yourself, be the best you can be, even though right now it may seem really dull and dim, it will all get better. There is always someone in your corner no matter where you are. Love yourself, you are wanted an loved by many even tho you may not know them. Make sure you keep your best allies (friends, family, adults) in your corner. Always be safe and make sure you don't ever give up your fight. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I love you very much. 💖"

— Monique Fontaine

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10. "What people don't understand is that when we finally accept that we are trans and start to live authentically — that is when we start to thrive."

Provided to BuzzFeed

"Life is scary when you're trying to understand yourself and your place in this world. It can be even scarier when people tell you that are not who or what you understand yourself to be. The pressures of society and normalcy are overwhelming and the desire to be truly free to be who you really are at the same time can be very daunting. We've been told stay in our boxes so we don't upset others, conform. We are told that if we don't we will be met with misunderstandings, anger, fear, judgments, denial, hatred and violence. What they don't understand is that we are facing this every day a thousand times over from ourselves. That internally, we are struggling to put all the pieces together.

What people don't understand is that when we finally accept that we are trans and start to live authentically — that is when we start to thrive. When we get past the pronouns and begin to live and be accepted in our proper gender identity that we being to be able to love ourselves. When we can love ourselves we can focus on our futures, because we can finally start seeing that we will have one. We can start to relax for the first time and think beyond our bodies. We are smart, creative, strong, beautiful, talented humans with a very unique perspective and that is valuable. We deserve to be who we are, to know that we can be whatever we want when we grow up."

Auston Björkman

11. "For every person that expresses hate towards you, there is another opening their arms, hearts, and ears."

Provided To BuzzFeed

"I see you, I hear you, I am with you. This battle is temporary one. I too found myself in a place feeling like the odds were never in my favor. I thought I'd lose my family because my mom didn't understand transgender people or the LGBT community. Yet, one day, she stopped fighting against my identity and started listening.

It's not easy to overcome many obstacles. Classmates, teachers, and maybe complete strangers will bully you — but for every person that expresses hate towards you, there is another opening their arms, hearts, and ears. As a child, I never thought I'd see this day. And now there's are millions of us actively finding each other and building new families. We will stand together in love, and we stand in solidarity with you to fight these injustices. You are loved. You're life matters to me and to all of us."

— Devin Norelle

12. "I encourage anyone going through a difficult time to write, dream, and imagine all the beautiful things you bring to this world."

Provided to BuzzFeed

"People will always tell you who you are and what they think you should be. But just remember – only you know who you are. Never let others make you into someone you're not. Growing up trans in a small Midwest town was one of the biggest challenges in my life. The one thing that kept me going was the practice of self-love. I encourage anyone going through a difficult time to write, dream, and imagine all the beautiful things you bring to this world. You are light! You are love! You are not alone. And I promise it will get better."

Billie Lee

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.