Denver, CO

‍GRIFFIN :  “I met these punk kids through the GSA at my school and I became the singer in a street punk band by the time I was fourteen. One year I was mortified, had no voice and felt so defeated by all these people and the next year I was at X-Games street park screaming about how much I hated suburbia.

I hung out with straight, punk, white guys, who were all huge and they protected me in my high school of three thousand kids. There was only two percent of minorities. It was a farm town and a really republican country. Lots of backward ideas. Do you guys remember what Scene is? I was so scene. I was really recognized on MySpace for that. I was huge! I had no friends in my town but I had 10,000 friends on the internet. It’s funny because I have had so many opportunities to explore my gender in various ways. Ultimately having all these brothers and a dad who was really into America and the military, he’s a barbecue everyday type guy, anyways I think that’s what put me in the place where I couldn’t really accept my transition.

Sexually, I had repressed myself so much because of my abuse as a kid. I thought I was gender non-conforming and asexual. Then I started to really be honest with myself. I was doing lots of yoga at that point and focusing on my health and who I was as a person. I remember one of my Yoga teachers saying “You have all these beautiful expressions in all of your yoga poses but I don’t see the heart in it”. That just destroyed me. I thought about it and it was true. The skill was there but the passion was invisible. I took it to heart and I started to think about how I didn’t show who I was ever. Through yoga and really sitting with myself I came to understand my gender identity and I started small at first. A hair tie can make all the difference in the beginning.

Transitioning has not been easy but I am happy to know who I am. Because I was able to pass so quickly I was experiencing cat calling and all of the stuff women go through right from the start and it was so scary. I had to learn how to hold my ground and how to say no. I was a virgin until March of last year. Due to the abuse I endured as a child and being uncomfortable with myself, I just never had wanted to have sex. The part of transitioning where I experience the most hardship has been that all of these cisgender men want to have sex with me but they don’t want to commit to the fact that they did have sex with me. They think of it as a gay experience instead of just a sexual experience. The hardest part is that I have really worked on myself and I have gotten to this place where I am comfortable with myself but I have to remember that I can’t beat myself up because I have gone through so many changes so fast.

Cisgender women have had to develop instincts around men and patriarchal bullshit their entire life whereas trans women are learning it as all at once as they transition. When I transitioned I began dating a lot and have experienced two separate sexual assaults by men. The last year has been so interesting because it has been me being myself but experiencing violence because of that.

My survival instinct has always been to react and react and react and at this point, I think about it and think that’s not the direction I want to go in anymore. I want to choose the healthy route. A route that is going to amplify and make my life feel good. Now that I am doing that I realize how much I have to let go of. Like letting go of feeling ugly and feeling like you can’t share everything with people. I know who I am. I’ve started to see who my friend are and who my family is. ”