Teen asks the Internet for advice on how to ask out a trans girl, Laverne Cox responds
When you're a teenager, asking out your crush can be terrifying. You're confessing your deepest feelings, and there's no guarantee your crush will feel the same way. If you get rejected, that would be devastating. But if your crush says yes, you'd feel insanely happy. Do it! No, wait. Do it! No, wait. Until you get the courage to ask, these thoughts ping-pong around in your brain, turning you into a bundle of nerves.
But you know what makes this situation even more scary? If your teenage crush is transgender. In recent years, the world's become much more aware of transgender issues. With more transgendered people visible in pop culture, more transgendered people have felt the confidence to accept who they are. But in some parts of society, there's still a stigma attached. And high school, in particular, can be a brutal place, full of bullies hungry to mock anyone different from the norm.
Yesterday a teenage boy asked Reddit for advice on how to ask out a transgender girl whom he had a crush on. In the post, he spills his guts, saying "if I were a cartoon my eyes would turn into hearts and leap from their sockets when I see her." They did each other portraits in art class and it was "MAGICAL...like a Jack and Rose moment, except nobody was naked and neither of us died." His little brother suggests giving her flowers because "he bets no other guy has given her flowers before." However, he's scared to ask her out, because it would be "social suicide." His friends make "a lot of rude and derogatory remarks" and "talk about how she'll never be a real woman." He's also "terrified of what his parents might think." The post may have "turned novella length," but it's a story the Internet loved.
Here's the full text:
"There is a trans girl [17 F] in my [17 M] school that I can't get out of my mind. I have a massive crush on her but I'm also afraid of social suicide if I ask her out.
I can't even begin to explain how absolutely and painfully beautiful this girl is. She totally makes me feel lovesick. If I were a cartoon my eyes would turn into hearts and leap from their sockets whenever I see her. She makes me feel weak in the knees... the butterflies in my belly are aggressive and many... I could write poetry about this woman.
Unfortunately the majority of people don't see her like I do. She only started transitioning a year and a half ago. It's a smaller community, so she's been around ever since I started going to school. A lot of people refer to her as "he." I've even heard a teacher or two mistakenly (or perhaps on purpose) call her by her prior name. She has a much more feminine name now.
Girls are more friendly with her, but a lot of guys, my friends included make a lot of rude and derogatory remarks about her. They talk about how she'll never be a real woman and how they'd never touch someone like her.
She is so real to me though. No doubt about it. I've never felt this crazy about a girl before. We go to the same school art club which is when I really started crushing on her. Her art, guys. HER ART. God. Please. Just ugh...
She's so talented. It was portrait week and we got paired up. We did each other's portraits and it was MAGICAL." It was like a Jack and Rose moment, except nobody was naked and neither of us died. She said she loved the picture of her I drew and she asked to keep it.
We have exchanged numbers and we text a lot. Just last night she asked to hang out sometime out of school. I've currently home half dead from the flu, but when I'm better I really want to take her out. I want to do something extremely special. I want to ask if she wants a date.
However, I know the second word spreads we are hanging out or people see us together or if we become a "thing" guys will be awful to me and I know my friends won't get it. I don't know if they'd disown me, but obviously I couldn't be friends with people who make fun of my girlfriend.
I haven' t talked to my parents. I don't know how they'd feel about her. My older sister who just graduated high school last year says I should stay away from her because of all the drama she could cause. Plus my sister thinks I could become the target of bullies and people might even think I'm gay. This is definitely something I worry about.
My little brother (who is in middle school, so I don't know how credible his advice is) says I should bring her flowers to school on valentines day because he bets no other guy has given her flowers before. I think this is amazing. I'd definitely like being the first guy to ever give her flowers, but it's also a a very public and romantic gesture. There is no second guessing the nature of it. She also deserves flowers on valentines day. I want to make her smile.
This has turned novella length. I should quit rambling. I could ramble about her for DAYS. Believe me.
What do I do? I think I know what to do. I mean, I know what I WANT to do. I want to make her feel special. I want to be her boyfriend. I'm just terrified of the social repercussions and I'm a little terrified of what my parents might think too. Maybe they won't care. Maybe nobody would care. That's highly unrealistic.
What would you guys do in my shoes? What's the smart move?
Do I ask her out even though people wouldn't really get it? I don't want everybody to hate me. But I really want her to like me."
In the comment section, people were incredibly supportive, praising the little brother's advice as "so innocent and profound." "Be the kind of person your little brother thinks you should be," wrote one person. "I want OP's little brother to give me advice on everything," replied another. "Yeah, there's a real risk of being bullied and harassed for dating a trans person," said a third. "But whatever you get, I'm sure it'll be a fraction of what she experiences on a daily basis." The teenage boy - who goes by Azure-skies-123 replied to this comment, saying he "REALLY [wants] to give this girl some damn flowers" but might do it privately instead of in public.
All of the attention must have been too much for the teen, because he deleted his original post on Reddit. Luckily, screenshots of it were captured and spread around on Twitter, melting everyone's cold, dead hearts.
In fact, the post even drew the attention of transgender activist and Orange Is The New Black actress Laverne Cox. She responded, "Omg if I could advise this young man I would say that life is so much bigger than high school and if this young woman makes you as happy as it seems you must go towards that happiness. Love sets us free. Make her feel as special as she is & as you see her. #transisbeautiful"
Did the teenage boy ever ask out his crush? I guess we'll never know for sure. However, in one of the screenshots of the since-deleted thread, you can see he posted an updated. "I'm about 99% that I'm going to ask her out on a date," the teen writes. "People are saying cheesy is good for our age, so I think I'm going to make her a card with a drawing on the front (not sure what yet) and a little rhyme on the inside asking her out!" Sounds like he made the right decision.
In a related story, we asked parents if they'd give their child a transgender doll...