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Transgender student shares experiences

October 29, 2015

The windowless hallways of Wenatchee High School are pinball machines. Most students are lucky if they manage to reach their next class without knocking over a stranger or falling flat on their faces. But not everyone.

Senior Anthony Tovar doesn’t just walk from class to class, he struts, in knee-high leather boots with four-inch heels. Everyone has seen him rocking lipstick, eyeliner, and jewelry with whichever fashion-forward attire he selects for the day, but how many people have taken the time to actually meet the person behind the makeup?

“People just have so many questions,” Tovar said. “People ask me, ‘Do you want me to call you a male or a female?’ It doesn’t bother me to answer them, but it kind of gets annoying after a while. It gets super annoying, actually.”

When asked, once and for all, what he identified as, his answer was quick: “I’m transgender.”

Pronouns used to be so simple. If you had a penis and testes, you went by male. If you had a vagina and ovaries, you went by female. The transgender movement has taken an axe to that concept. Male (he, him), female (she, her), neutral (they, them), and others are all used by members of the transgender community, but different people have different preferences.

“I usually still go by male pronouns because legally I am still a male,” Tovar said, “but I don’t mind what you use.”

While Tovar still uses male pronouns now, that may change in the not-so-distant future.

“I absolutely see myself one day as a female,” he added.

Tovar knew he did not identify as male “since day one,” but he didn’t feel he could do anything about it. Until he did. In the middle of his freshman year, between the months of December and February, Tovar began to transition.

“It started with makeup,” he said. “People would ask me what I was doing, and I would say, ‘I don’t know. I’m just putting makeup on.’ But since I still dressed like a boy, people got confused. I was just like, let me do me, you know? Go with the flow and let me do me. Now I’m doing what I want.”

Despite finally leading a more authentic lifestyle, Tovar still has never actually come out of the closet. Until now.

“People assumed, and I just let them, you know?” he said. “Everyone has been supportive.”

Everyone, including the Wenatchee High School administration. “We’ve had conferences with my parents and myself, and I guess they’re supportive of it. But even if they weren’t okay with how I dress, I wouldn’t listen to them. Like, do you see what I’m wearing right now? I don’t care.”

Even with Tovar’s positive attitude, being transgender does not come without its struggles, especially when it comes to relationships.

“There is a certain image of what a woman should look like, and it’s hard for people to look at me and say, ‘Oh, is he really a male?’ or ‘Is he a female?’ ‘What are you?’” he said. “Like, I get messages on Facebook of guys trying to text me, and I have to be like, ‘I have to tell you something…’ because I don’t want to be rude and have them think that I am leading them on, so I tell them I’m transgender. They’re like, ‘Whoa, I thought you were a girl!’ and I’m like ‘Thanks, but I’m not looking for that right now.’”

The students of Wenatchee High School can expect to be different people in five years than they are today. New schools, new jobs, new friends. For some, new families. How many can say that in five years, they would have a new body? A new name? Tovar can. But no one’s future is fully planned out. When asked what he wants his new name to be, he said he hadn’t picked one out yet. “I just want it to be something with an A.”

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