Imagine waking up every morning wishing you were in another body. Looking in the mirror and hoping that tomorrow you’ll be who you want to be. Most of us will never experience this, with the only body swap relating to whichever celebrity is fronting the latest magazines. For Morgen, 20, he knew something was different from a young age. At just two/three, it was hard to comprehend what he was feeling, with little knowledge to explain why he felt so different. It wasn’t until the age of ten that Morgen started to understand he wasn’t alone. At 12/13 he researched online, finding support from forums and other platforms where others were voicing their own experiences in being transgender.
Yet he remained quiet, never confiding in anyone he knew around him. Somehow telling strangers online seemed easier, as Morgan explains, “I was scared of reactions because back then it was different and people weren’t as accepting as they are now. At the same time I’m the kind of person that finds it easier to talk to people I don’t know.” But while Morgen silently knew inside he wasn’t who he was supposed to be, those around him were unaware, the only giveaways were his decisiveness to shop in the mens section given the choice.
What many people question is the sexual orientation of those that identify as transgender. For Morgen, he felt confused by things in the media, coming out to friends and family as a lesbian at the age of 18. Even then, it wasn’t an easy ride. “It took me a long time because I struggle with these kinds of things,” he says, “I came out as trans at 20, and after identifying as a lesbian before, I now see myself as a heterosexual guy,” he adds. For Morgen, a heterosexual relationship previously lasted all of two days, instantly not feeling comfortable, before then experiencing two lesbian relationships. His most recent partner was supportive in the very first steps of telling people he was trans, feeling comfortable to do so because of her previous partners also experiencing the same thing. “I knew before I came out as gay that I had to tell someone but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I ended up coming out as gay… I think I just found it easier to say I like the same sex as opposed to ‘I want to be a different gender’, he explains.
After telling just the one person, a weight had been lifted as Morgen finally opened up on how he was feeling. After meeting with his best friend and telling him how he felt, two days later he decided he needed to explain to his Mum. “When I came out as gay I told her through text. but with this I felt like I had to speak to her in person. I texted her and said ‘I need to talk to you after work’ and we were sat at the kitchen table having a cigarette for about half an hour, as I made irrelevant conversation,” he says. After his Mum asked what he wanted to talk about, Morgen voiced those words he wishes he had said years before. “I explained to her that I don’t feel comfortable in the body that I was born in and that it wasn’t who I am,” Morgen explains.
But how did she react? “She couldn’t be more supportive. She admitted that she didn’t really know anything about it and didn’t understand it, but said she would support me and back me whatever way possible. It’s taken her a while to get used to it, but she’s now started referring to me as ‘he’ and calling me Morgen,” he says. After explaining the details to his supportive Mum, Morgen told me that he has never felt so good, without needing to hide who he is. He tells me, given the chance, he would have started the process sooner, after seeing how supportive everyone has been, although explains his belief in that things happen for a reason. “This was my time!” he exclaims.
After making GP appointments, arranging blood tests and awaiting his referral, Morgen happily discusses how good it feels that things are finally moving forward. “It felt like someone other than friends or family were actually listening to me and helping me get to where I need to be,” he says. Now, at 20, Morgen uses a binder to flatten his bust, explaining that he feels so much more confident in himself and his appearance. But what advice would he give to others?
“Every person is different of course. But I would urge anyone that feels like they’re struggling with their gender identity in any way to talk to someone. Whether it be a friend, family member, doctor or support forum online. It will help them so much.”
But is there enough help out there for transgender people?
“I do and I don’t. I know that makes no sense – but some people can be happy with just the help of family and doctors. Others aren’t. I do think there needs to be more clinical people educated on it, like doctors etc.”