Transgender man shares his incredible before-and-after transition photos and he is unrecognisable
The transgender community has been the subject of much debate in the past year, mainly thanks to Donald Trump. Since Trump publicly banned members of the trans community from serving in the American military, trans rights have been discussed across our news channels, social media feeds and all throughout the media. But while we have heard the opinions of a lot "experts", we haven't really heard about the experiences of those who have transitioned.
Jamie Wilson is a musician, DJ, model, and a fully transitioned female to male member of the trans community. The 21-year-old from Michigan has decided to share his transition journey online, and in doing so, he has become the poster boy for transgender rights.
Jamie says that he is out to debunk the often naive and short-sighted social myths surround transgender people, and has outlined the story behind his unbelievable transition.
"When I was 15 I knew for a fact that I was male. But because I grew up in a very conservative religious household I had to put my identity and feelings aside until I was able to be on my own. I knew the situation would not have been good, or safe, if I came out that young."
Jamie was living a secret life, with the then-teenager buying masculine clothing and hiding it from his parents.
"I would go to the store and shop in the men’s section. I took every opportunity I had to put on masculine clothing and stare into the mirror.
"I had a drawer in my bedroom in which I kept all my masculine clothes, and I’d carefully put a layer of feminine clothes over the top so that if my parents went through my room they wouldn’t find them."
Jamie says that the idea of facing up to his gender was frightening, claiming that he had to "bury his feelings" at the time.
"I didn’t think I’d ever be able to transition.
"I thought it was something I would have to live with for the rest of my life. I didn’t tell anyone how I was feeling because I was afraid of losing everyone."
Jamie has tried to normalise the process of transition and is trying to dispell the ignorance that people within the trans community regularly face. The musician shared his journey with his followers on Instagram in a series of brave and often candid photos.
He says that once he began to openly embrace his gender, he "felt content and noticed my social anxiety and stress level sort of just disappeared. I became a more happy and lively person. I became me."
Jamie admits that during the process of transitioning, he has lost family and friends who couldn't accept what he was doing and why. However, while he was sad to see them go, he believes that their absence from his life says more about them, then it does about him.
"I look at it this way, I only changed my appearance, so anyone who disowns me because of my transition clearly only liked me for how I looked on the outside, not who I am on the inside…because that didn’t change."
Jamie is now an active campaigner for trans rights. The model claims that he is aiming to educate people that no matter what someone looks like on the outside, it's what is on the inside that matters.
While he has received an outpouring of love and support from those on social media, Jamie says that losing his close family "still does take its toll."
"The hardest part of my transition has been losing my family," he said.
"I remember the night I showed up at home with my hair cut and masculine clothes on, my mom said, ‘I don’t care that you like girls, but why do you have to look like this?’
"She was essentially saying that she is only concerned with my outward appearance… Something no parent should be judging their child for, or anyone for that matter."
Jamie also has a message for transphobic people and conservative communities, with the musician saying.
"I want to say that I was once like you. I was an unaccepting, close-minded person, but that’s because I was unhappy.
"Do you really think I would choose this for myself? Choose to lose my family? Choose to spend thousands of dollars on gender assignment surgery and hormones? Choose to be repeatedly ridiculed?
"Before you start to judge someone who is transgender or claim they are starving for attention, please stop and think about the sacrifices and hardships they go through just to be their true self."
Jamie has been incredibly brave to share his story in such an open space, where is likely to receive as much abuse as he is support. His story shows that it's not what you are on the outside that matters, it's who you are and what you do in the world that defines you. While a lot of us a lucky enough to feel comfortable in our own skin, we shouldn't judge those who aren't.