In a world still sadly lagging behind in the acceptance of trans people, it takes a lot a bravery to come out at any age. For 13-year-old Tom Sosnik, however, it was an important step, especially in light of the tragic death of Leelah Alcorn last December. At a naming ceremony at his high school, Tom spoke eloquently about his difficult journey to self-acceptance.
"For a while, I dismissed the fact that I hated my body. I pretended to be content with what I was assigned until, at a certain point, I broke."
"For some of you this may come as a shock, and for others, well, you knew or you thought that I was transgender. Well here's your reassurance: I am no longer Mia. I never really was. And now I finally stand before you in my true and authentic gender identity, as Tom. I stand before you as a 13-year-old boy."
With remarkable clarity, Tom went on to acknowledge that the adjustment could be difficult for some, but he asked to be treated with respect. He welcomed appropriate questions about his transition, and encouraged his fellow students to discuss it with their parents, but to refrain from talking about it with friends. "It's not gossip-worthy," he said simply. He rounded off his speech with:
"I really hope that you will support my decision to embark on a harder route in life, as the boy I truly am."
Watch the short speech below: