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Justin McCoy Headshot


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Being part of the LGBT community as an activist and a transgender male, I have come to realize that forms of acceptance that we all strive for; acceptance of self and acceptance from others. Both having their own obstacles.

Self-acceptance is loving yourself for who you are, regardless of your defaults and the things you would change. For a lot of us, especially LGBT youth, we never achieve self-acceptance, leading to depression or suicide.

Although I have accepted myself, I am still terrified of how others will accept me.

What will my classmates say?

Will I get a job?

What about my friends? my family?

I have been very fortunate in my experiences to be accepted by most people who I have come across.

After telling the majority of my friends that I am transgender, I made a new Facebook, slowly adding family members as I told them.

Last week when I logged on, I had a friend request from one of my cousins, who is very close to my grandparents.

Now, if you have read my other blog posts, you would understand that my grandparents aren't the most accepting.

I was terrified.

I quickly denied her friend request and sent her a text message asking if she had said anything to the family.

She responded, "That is my favorite part about your grandparents... they will accept you... because they love you!"

Never once did I say that they would not love me. I know they would, but there is a difference between love and acceptance.

She then sent another text saying. "You want them to go watch you in the GLAAD parade? Go the GLAAD Media Awards with you? or just talk to you about it? Help me understand what you need that you don't feel you're getting..."

Now a week later, she has yet to respond to my reply, which stated, "Acceptance in human psychology is a persons assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition without attempting to change it, protest, or exit. Acceptance has to deal with positive welcome; favor and endorsement."

Times like this help me realize that your friends are your family. It is important to surround yourself with people who truly accept you for who you are.

That is why I have joined Youth Empowered to Act (YETA) at The Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County (The Center OC) in Santa Ana, Calif. Being a part of YETA has given me a goal, to create safe schools where ALL students feel accepted and welcomed.

It Gets Better.
Things Are Changing.
A Storm is Coming.