Matt

Alexandria

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My name is Matt. I’m 25 and I live in northern Virginia.  I am a retail manager and enjoy working out at the gym, hiking, and going on adventures with friends.  I sing in my church choir, love amusement parks, and hope to sky dive one day.  I am also a transgender man.

 

I was raised in the Bible belt in a small, sheltered town with a Pentecostal preacher as a father.  I have been through a lot in my journey to be my true self. I have endured more than my fair share of toxic, unhealthy relationships, in the name of wanting to be accepted. I realized that in order to be happy, I have to be who I really am. My family has essentially disowned me because I am living my life authentically.  I still love them, but I know who I am and who I am deserves love and respect. This is part of why I wanted to share my story: I know there are other trans folx out there with stories much like mine. Our community tends to deal with violence and abuse more than most people and I want the people going through what I went through to know they aren’t alone. They deserve love and respect, too. I found a supportive network of friends and allies in my church and work community.  My current church family has never used the wrong name or pronouns when addressing me and their support is amazing.  They never make me feel judged and treat me like any other person trying to follow Christ’s teachings of compassion and love. I want people to know that your people are out there waiting for you, just like mine were.

 

I have been working very hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle (I’ve lost over 73 lbs!) even before my transition, because of many health issues I inherited. I want to live as long and healthy a life as possible. I support non-discrimination bills in employment, housing, and public accommodations because I have the right to enjoy all aspects of my long, healthy life without fear. I live in a fairly accepting area right now and have been lucky to not have experienced discrimination, but I know that is not the case for everyone. We have all worked hard to build lives for ourselves, we should get to enjoy these lives to the fullest, like every other Virginian.