Glass Walls: My coming out post

Over the years I’ve written plenty of characters coming out. I never thought I’d be doing it myself, yet here I am. Life is weird.


The short version: I’m transgender. My internal sense of gender doesn’t match the female body I was born with. I’ve reached a point where I can’t ignore this anymore. I have my first appointment at a gender clinic in January. My pronouns are now he/him.

The long version is a poem. I tried explaining my journey in prose, but it was ridiculously rambly. This works better. Poetry isn’t my usual medium but the words flowed and they feel right. This is the most honest and personal thing I’ve ever written.

If I’ve learned one thing in all my reading about everything transgender-related over the last few years, it’s that there isn’t one trans narrative. Everyone’s experience of their gender is unique. Here’s my story.

Glass Walls

I don’t want to be a girl
“But you are a girl,” said kindly. “There’s nothing you can do about that.”
Transgender. FTM.
We didn’t have the words for what I was when I was growing up

I pushed hard against all things female
Demanded short hair, boy’s clothes, blue not pink
I ran, jumped, climbed, fought. Determined to be as good as a boy at everything — or better
Forced unwillingly into dresses, I sulked
Endured the hot shame of being seen like that when it felt so wrong
It wasn’t me
I wish I was a boy
“I know you do, darling. But it’s never going to happen.”
My mother died before I learned that it could

In my teens I had bigger worries than the betrayal of my body by puberty
Girls instinctively knew what I didn’t know myself
I was an outsider
Weird, unwelcome, wrong
Slowly, painfully, I learned to play the game
I crushed my unwilling spirit and crammed it into a box labelled Girl

I built walls around myself, mirrored walls that reflected back the expectations of others
Long hair, make up, the right clothes
I was admired, liked (at last), I fitted in
Inside I was dying and I didn’t even know it
I grew up a prisoner inside that glass castle

The cracks were already forming
My true self chipped away at my prison
While denial plugged the holes just as fast
It shored up the walls for another month, another year, another decade…
I still wished I was male
If only or in another life
I buried the impossible desire so deep I didn’t know how much I needed it
The older I got the higher the walls became
Daughter. Sister. Wife. Mother.
I tried so hard to be what the world expected while the cracks spread
Depression and anxiety bloomed like dark flowers on a vine
Winding around me and blocking the light

What’s wrong with me?

A story finally gave me my answer
A message in a bottle tossed into the ocean of the Internet and washed up on my screen
I read, devouring the words
Transgender. FTM.
The recognition was a punch to the gut
The words a map of my escape route

I tried to carry on, afraid of what transition would mean for me and my loved ones
I lied for a few more years
It’s too late for me
Maybe if I’d known twenty years ago…
I’m fine

But knowledge has the power to break down walls
Even when someone inside is frantically shoring them up
The cracks spread and widened until the walls shattered and tumbled down around me

Here I am

Terrified, exhilarated, hopeful
Blinking in the light, surrounded by glass as bright as diamonds, and as sharp as blades
There is nowhere for me to hide anymore
Transgender. FTM
The only way is forward


NB: I’m working on coming out to people who know me in my non-author name but am not out to everyone yet. If you know me in my day-to-day life and are reading this, please respect my privacy. I will be making a similar announcement in my real name soon, but am not quite ready for everyone to know.



About Jay Northcote

Author of LGBT romance. Trans (he/him), Parent, cat herder, professional procrastinator.
This entry was posted in announcement, life stuff and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Glass Walls: My coming out post

  1. Sending so much love to you Jay. I think you are amazing.

  2. Helena Stone says:

    Thank you for sharing that heartfelt, beautiful and very personal poem with us. Like I said elsewhere, there is no right or wrong time; only your time. Take it, live it, be true to yourself and the rest will fall into place. No, it probably won’t all be easy or smooth, but it will bring you to authenticity. And you know you’ve got a small army of us to support you whenever you need it. ❤

  3. ouremuk66 says:

    I’m so pleased that you feel able to finally be who you are on the inside, with all that it brings with it. I know we’re “only” internet friends but be assured you’ll have my unqualified support every step of your journey. ❤️❤️

  4. That made me cry. Beautiful words by a beautiful boy. So sorry you’ve been suffering for so long. Spread your wings and be free. Good luck at the clinic

  5. bjwilliams26 says:

    No ‘words’ as such, only much love & unwavering support.

  6. Angela says:

    What a beautiful poem, thank you for sharing.
    Hugs for you and your family

  7. Kelly Jensen says:

    I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you as you continue your journey. ❤

  8. Elin says:

    This is beautiful and heartbreaking. I recognise so much of it and I admire your strength and bravery more than I can say.

  9. mlkkrs88 says:

    Truly inspiring Jay. I’m so happy for you. My thoughts and prayers will be with you as you take these next steps into the life you deserve. May all your dreams come true. Be well. ❤

  10. HUGS and best wishes. Everyone deserves to be the person they should be.

  11. lennanadams says:

    So many hugs ❤ You are amazing!

  12. Mikku-chan says:

    I am so happy for you and you are strong and fierce person to me. :3 ❤ I respect every of your wishes and I hope I won't make the mistake to call you "she" instead of "he" until I have it "round". 🙂 If I do, it's not done purposely 😀

    All the best wishes. :3

  13. ideklinz says:

    So proud of you!! Finally being able to feel like your true self, it’s all we ever want in life and you’re taking the steps 😚😚💗💗

  14. sukifleet says:

    Powerful and beautiful poem, Jay ❤ Sending you lots of love^^

  15. Nya Rawlyns says:

    My son became the daughter I never knew I had. Blessings to you. The journey is so worth it.

  16. Piper Kay says:

    You are one amazing human being, you truly are. thank you for sharing this! ~hugs and love always~!

  17. cheekyminx78 says:

    I’m so happy you’re learning to become who you were meant to be. I’m happy to accept you however you feel most comfortable xx be strong we support you without question my friend

  18. Congratulations and best of luck in moving forward!

  19. Heartache Rx says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s never too late. My father transitioned about 5 years ago and she is in her late 60s. It takes incredible bravery and courage to share something like this. My dad is much happier as her true self. Be you. Be happy. Best wishes.

  20. Heartache Rx says:

    Reblogged this on Heartache Rx and commented:
    A beautiful poem by one of my favorite writers about being transgender.

  21. Lesley says:

    I know I don’t know you personally and you don’t know me but I want to congratulate you for being honest and brave. Be proud of yourself for taking these steps. Good luck on your journey and remember when it feels tough along the way it will be worth it in the end

  22. lisa44837 says:

    I’ve met people who weren’t able to become their true selves until they were seniors & my heart ached for their past pain. Just as my heart aches for your past pains, I’m happy that you’re finding the strength to find your new happiness. Peace & hugs.

  23. Rachel Wolff says:

    Sending you love and well wishes.

  24. Rita Roberts says:

    Dear Jay, I saw this post whilst nosing for book stuff. I’m not sure of the right words/wording to use, but I hope all works out exactly the way you need and want it to, and that you have the support of your loved ones, friends and family. It’s great that you’ll be able to be the you you know you are, in every way you need to be. Be happy. And, beautiful poem! Take care. Rita xx

  25. Dee Slate says:

    Hi! I’m a great fan of yours and this changes nothing 🙂 Be you!!! Thanks for sharing.

  26. Ami says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with us, Jay … you are beautiful no matter what gender you are.

  27. Kathy says:

    I enjoy being a girl…but with all the m/m books I read, I could totally embrace being a male, especially to get a taste of all that smoking HOT man-on-man action. Ok…kind of jealous. 😋😋

  28. Laura says:

    I admire you so much! I wish you love.

  29. CisWifeLife says:

    I admire your honesty and bravery. Coming out to the people in your life takes time and I wish you the best.

  30. thank you Jay. For making me feel a little less alone in my journey.

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