By Alyce Collins
THIS TEEN walked in front of A TRAIN before coming to terms with the fact that he was transgender, but luckily survived with only a fractured spine and is now accepting his male self and has even recreated his prom night to celebrate.
Food worker, Alexander Allen (18) from Derbyshire, UK, who came out as trans earlier this year, felt he was ‘different’ since the age of just seven-years-old when wearing a summer dress to school felt wrong and uncomfortable.
Alexander went through a turbulent few years as a teenager, before coming out as transgender, throughout which he loathed his female body and who he was forced to be.
Before coming out as Alexander, there were years of abusive relationships which led to a struggle with PTSD, an eating disorder and depression, even trying to take his own life by trespassing onto train tracks.
While he was in and out of hospital, Alexander became aware of the LGBT community and was educated on body dysphoria in which there is a mismatch in biological sex and gender identity. After learning more about being transgender and gender identities, he realised he was in fact male.
On the January 8, 2018, Alexander came out as transgender to friends and family, with the support of his family and girlfriend, Millie, who even recreated their school prom so that Alexander could relive it as a male.
“I’ve always known I was different but my earliest memory, that I now realise was a feeling of gender dysphoria, was aged seven,” said Alexander.
“It was the first day back to school after summer and my trousers didn’t fit me, so I had to wear a summer dress and I was extremely uncomfortable. It just felt wrong.
“This feeling definitely got worse when I started secondary school. Puberty changed my body and the gender roles are enforced more as you enter teen years, which led me to begin hating myself.
“I went from being able to sing in front of an audience to being unable to answer questions in class. I didn’t want to be seen so I hid myself in baggy clothes and refused to have photos taken.
“Just after my sixteenth birthday I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the first time after my third suicide attempt because the outpatient workers didn’t believe I would be safe in the community.”
In all, Alexander was admitted to a psychiatric hospital three times. During the final admittance, Alexander frequently needed restraining and sedating because he would try self-harming while inside.
His eating difficulties also got worse to the point of having an NG tube passed through and being fed under restraint.
It was during these periods in hospital when Alexander met members of the LGBT community who shared their personal experiences and made Alexander more aware of what he himself might have been feeling.
“I mentioned that I felt an incongruence between my gender and my sex during my final admission, and this led to staff educating me further,” said Alexander.
“As soon as I understood I knew I was in fact male, and it took me another year to publicly identify myself. I was petrified of the response I would get, and I thought I was disappointing my family. I hid who I was for another year, which was detrimental to my health.
“My depression and eating difficulties became worse because I lost weight for the sole purpose of trying to force my body to be more masculine by reducing the size of my chest.
“I felt so hopeless and I thought that if I couldn’t live as me then I didn’t want to live at all, so I made a final plan to commit suicide. In October 2017, I walked to a train station and waited for a train to come because it felt like my only option.
“Nobody knows how I survived because I shouldn’t have. The police officer told my parents that he didn’t even expect to find my body intact, let alone feel a pulse.
“I fractured my spine and dislocated my shoulder, but I got to keep my life. Over the next few months as I recovered physically, I was sectioned in hospital until I was stable enough to return home.
“I eventually spoke to my outpatient nurse and I broke down, telling her that I am male. She was amazing. She helped me understand who I was and to tell my family.”
Alexander is now focusing on embracing being able to accept and understand who he really is.
When Alexander first attended prom as a female, it felt embarrassing to be there, but when Alexander’s girlfriend recently recreated the night so that he could attend prom as a male, it made Alexander feel more confident than he thought possible.
“Attending prom as a female was uncomfortable and I felt ugly. It seemed like everyone was staring at me. But having it recreated was amazing and was without a doubt the most confident I’ve been in a long time,” he said.
“Millie made the prom so personal and it was beautiful. She was wearing her prom dress and the house had been decorated with fairy lights. I cried because I’m so grateful to be with her.
“There are a few things I’d like others to see. Firstly, that life does get better, and if you don’t like your life, change it.
“I repeatedly tried to commit suicide before it even had a chance to improve. I avoided trying to find the root cause, but when I realised I had gender dysphoria I was able to improve my health.
“There needs to be education in schools about such matters, I was never taught anything about gender identities and it could easily be added to curriculum.”
To find out more, visit Alex’s Instagram page @alex080118.