By Liana Jacob
MEET the brothers who were shunned by their family after coming out as transgender just ONE YEAR APART.
Dairy Queen manager, Hunter Myles Wilburn (21), from Georgia, USA, was just a 17-year-old girl when they began to identify as male after years of struggling with gender dysphoria. Despite his friends being supportive when he came out to everyone on Facebook in 2016, his family didn’t take it so well.
The only members of his family that supported him was his youngest brother Taylor and his other brother and chef, Karson Wyatt Inkly (18), who was also going through similar struggles in secret. In October 2018, Hunter began taking testosterone, while his brother, Karson, came out to his family and friends in 2017 and is due to begin taking testosterone in January 2019.
Their journeys have helped each other get through their body insecurities and Karson has had a lot of support from his girlfriend, Harmony, since he came out as transgender.
“I have to try and avoid using public restrooms because I am judged no matter which restroom I use. We’re human and we have feelings too,” Hunter said.
“I first started identifying as male during my junior year of high school where I came out to a close friend. She was and still is very supportive.
“I was nervous about coming out to others, but slowly I did and every time I told someone new it took so much weight off my shoulders.
“I struggle with dysphoria a lot; mainly with my chest and my voice. I did hide it from my family for the longest time and I hated the way it made me feel.
“My mum supports me somewhat, but again my siblings Taylor and Karson are my biggest supporters.
“I just made a long post on Facebook telling everyone; the majority of people responded positively but my mum didn’t like it one bit.”
Hunter’s big reveal was followed by Karson’s own journey as transgender. While his transition is still fresh, Karson explains how he has now fully embraced his journey along with his brother.
“At the age of fourteen, I began to feel more comfortable identifying as a man but was still very confused about it all, it wasn’t until I was sixteen that I realised that I was transgender,” Karson said.
“I began closing myself off from everyone and refused to make friends. I don’t have anyone in my family that is supportive. My main supporters are my girlfriend, Harmony, and my best friend and brother, Myles (Hunter).
“Since my family didn’t accept my transition, I had to hide my true self until I was eighteen-years-old. At age sixteen, I told my brother Myles and my girlfriend Harmony.
“At the age of seventeen, I told my aunt and when I was eighteen, I came out publicly. When I came out to my brother and girlfriend they were accepting.
“But when I came out to my aunt she was not accepting and acted as if I hadn’t told her anything at all. When I came out publicly, I was kicked out of my parents’ house at the beginning of this year in February.”
Despite the fallout from coming out to their family, Hunter and Karson say they have never felt more like themselves since the reveal.
“Now, that I’ve started my transition I feel so much better mentally. Beforehand I really couldn’t stand the way I looked because it wasn’t the way I saw myself,” Hunter said.
“I was always the ‘tomboy’ growing up, but it was much more than that; growing up my mum always said that our cat was really a dog trapped in a cat’s body and in the fifth grade I told my classmates that I was really a boy trapped in a girl’s body.
“I recently just started testosterone. Every Wednesday I give myself my shot and that’s my favourite day of the week.”
Karson explains how he has felt since coming out.
“Before coming out, it felt as if there was a weight on my shoulders. I never wanted to look at myself in a mirror and hated the way my body felt and looked,” Karson said.
“While I haven’t yet started my transition yet, I feel I am truly becoming who I am and no longer having to hide my true self. The hardest part is being patient to see results.”
Hunter explains his new-found confidence.
“It has made me more confident in myself and I feel like I’m slowly becoming the person I’ve always been,” Hunter said.
“I’m slowly learning to love myself and it hasn’t really affected my relationships. My family doesn’t like it, but I finally stopped worrying about how they feel about it and I’m just focusing on myself and how I feel.
“The hardest part was just the starting process. Living in Tennessee is very hard due to being in what’s classified as the ‘bible belt’ it was very hard finding resources to help me.
“My next step is having top surgery. I’m actually very interested in this surgeon located in Texas.”