My Existence is Not Up For Debate
by TEP Board officer Brendon Holloway
My name is Brendon. I’m a Tennessean at heart, a graduate student at the University of Michigan, and a transgender man.
When I was 18, I embarked on this journey of owning my trans identity. I came out to my friends, family, and classmates and asked them to call me Brendon and use he/him pronouns. My friends and classmates at Middle Tennessee State University accepted me and encouraged me. My family accepted me and for that, I will always be grateful.
At 20, I discovered the field of social work. I discovered a field that would not only support me as a trans man, but a profession that would allow me to advocate for trans people and openly speak up for trans rights. After some time, I began an internship at Tennessee Equality Project and found my people: the LGBTQ community. I spent many days at legislative plaza combatting anti-trans legislation and many hours at night contemplating my existence as a trans person. The fight for trans equality was strong and worth it, but the harsh words and actions from others made it difficult to sleep at night. At that point in time, I had no idea where I’d be a year later.
A year has passed and I am in Ann Arbor, Michigan working toward my MSW. I will graduate in July with a new chest and possibly a mustache. Since moving to the Midwest, I have started hormone therapy and undergone gender reassignment surgery (otherwise known as top surgery). Every single day I realize more and more that I am enough, I am worthy, and I am thankful for being trans. On Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV), I am very privileged to be able to be openly trans and wear a shirt with the trans colors on it that basically screams I am a trans person. But not everyone is able to. For those who can’t be out: you are authentic and you are loved. Not being out does not make you any less trans or authentic. You are strong and you are trans. Not being on hormones does not make you any less trans and not having surgery does not make you less trans. You are wonderful just as you are.
For those of you who have supported me over the years, thank you. Thank you for taking me in and pushing me to transform society. I feel blessed to be trans and to be surrounded by love and support, especially from my trans family.
In the video below, Brendon takes you through the process of a T injection. Note: Be advised that the video shows needles used to extract and inject testosterone.