#DrewsViews: Pride

by Drew Adams

I’m thinking a lot about myself and how I’ve changed a lot since I came out as transgender at age 14.

Back then, I was super obvious about being trans, I told almost everyone. I was very out and proud. I wore a trans flag to school as a cape for character day in freshman year. All of my shirts had rainbows or trans flags. I talked constantly about queer things.

Now, I’m much more reserved about my queer and trans identities. I only wear shirts with queer or trans messages on GSA club days, and I’d never wear my flag as a cape in public, especially in school.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I’m very proud of my trans and queer identity. There’s no doubt about that. I use social media to advocate for intersectional queer liberation as much as I can. And still, I’m not as flamboyant, so to speak, as I used to be- at least not at school. Why is that?

I think it’s for a few reasons. Back then, I didn’t pass as a guy. Now I know that “passing” is a problematic concept, but nonetheless, I felt bad because I didn’t pass. So, I told everyone I was trans so that everyone would know what pronouns to use for me.

I also stopped being so outward about my trans status due to fear. I don’t want that to be the case, but I can’t deny that I’m afraid. I see stories in the news about trans kids being beaten up and trans kids getting killed, and I worry about being next. I don’t know what it is about this year, but I’m hearing homophobic and transphobic slurs left and right. I worry that if one of these people sees an outwardly queer person in a private area, something bad would happen.

I’m trying to find a balance the pride I have in my identity with my fears and developments in my identity. I think l’m making progress and getting where I need to go, and I’m proud of that.

About the Author:

Drew Adams is a transgender high school senior from Ponte Vedra, FL, who is committed to LGBTQ advocacy at the local and national levels. He serves as his high school GSA’s president and raises money for Northeast Florida’s LGBTQ youth outreach, JASMYN, to which he also donates food, toiletries and school supplies. Nationally, Drew serves as a youth ambassador and advocacy volunteer for The Trevor Project, a youth social media ambassador for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and a Volunteer and Intern Coordinator for Point of Pride. On the legislative side, Drew lobbies for the Equality Act by visiting with his Congressional representatives and their staff.

Additionally, Drew has spent years fighting to change his school district’s bathroom policy to be trans-inclusive, and the fight is still ongoing. Drew is an International Baccalaureate student and a volunteer at the Mayo Clinic, and he hopes to go to medical school and become an adolescent psychiatrist specializing in transgender health. For fun, he practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, creates sculpture art and plays the piano.