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When I realized I was transgender, I didn’t do cartwheels. I didn’t know anyone else like me. I remember going to the beach and crying, wondering if I wanted to live . Wondering, if my life was so unbearable now, how would it be if I came out as transgender? Then something happened. I realized that I had the opportunity to create myself into the person who I always wanted to be. I remember asking myself, what do I need to do to become that person? There was a very long list of “To Do’s.” I knew that the anger I carried would transfer over into the person I wanted to create, so I worked very hard to let go of it. I forgave everyone who abused me, including myself. Once I let go of my anger, my soul filled with compassion. I believe that you must see the dark before you see the light — and that some of us must struggle through the challenges we face because it is part of the growth. I can honestly say that I would not change anything about my past. I truly believe that my past is what created “Tony.”
In 2008 I founded two youth groups: Translation, a support group for transgender teenagers, and Create Yourself, an art group for transgender and gender non conforming children under the age of twelve. I also assisted in forming TransPACT, a support group for parents of transgender and gender non-conforming children. The work I have been doing with transgender youth and families has allowed me to witness a child go from hopelessness to hopefulness by simply affirming their gender. I watch families grow through the struggles they face when their child comes out as transgender. It is truly my honor to be a part of my clients’ journeys.