Life as a transgender high school student


Shapri Singleton

Leo Bender knows what it is like to be misgendered at FLC

Shapri Singleton, Contributing Writer

Leo Bender was young when he realized that he was transgender. This came as a surprise to him and his family. He did not fully understand the change he was going through but as he grew up things started to become clearer. He was a transgender male.

“People treat me differently. Some people are like oh you’re trans and stuff like that.” Bender said. “And like sometimes my family’s like, oh, well you used to be a girl.” 

Being a transgender male in the ninth grade comes with additional challenges–not everyone can accept who you are and what you’ve become, sometimes even your family. 

“Yeah, my uncle who I didn’t like in the first place got way worse. He got way transphobic. He was like eww and started using my dead name to mess with me,” Bender said. “My family’s not, you know, super supportive, but they’re fine, I guess.”

This not only causes the person around you to feel emotions but also those around you. 

“For me, most people are cool with it. Um, it’s kind of funny, because people are like, so you’re a girl, right? I’m like, no, and they’re like, oh, I’m so sorry because guys don’t like being called girls.” said Leo

Leo Bender’s pronouns are he/it but when many people see him they assume he is a girl. 

When asked if people ever used the wrong pronouns on him, Leo stated, “Yeah, people do it a lot by accident. Like it’s fine. I’ll just correct you. It’s no big deal. “ 

There isn’t just difficulty with pronouns; he also had many complications when it came to using the bathroom.

“It was a bit of a struggle with going to the bathroom. Because like, I use the men’s bathroom and my friends were like, no, you can’t do that. They’re gonna harass you, but that hasn’t happened.“