People ask me why I’m still living as David all the time, and it’s difficult to answer. I suppose my answer is that, unlike many other trans people, for me, pronouns aren’t extremely important.

I’m able to continue comfortably living as David for the time being. People try to form many ideas about what that might mean. They think I might not really be transgender, or that I’m gender non-binary. But frankly it’s my decision when and how I want to change my name and pronouns.

I don’t get annoyed when people mistakenly use female pronouns for me at all but pronouns really are something that you shouldn’t presume. Just because I present as “stereotypically female,” it doesn’t mean that I’m living as one yet.

I constantly get asked so many questions about why this is and I don’t actually know. It’s just what I’ve decided is best for me and I can’t really give any better reason than that. People say to me “you would pass for female if you wanted to” or “I know someone who was using different pronouns and the looked way less convincing than you do.” Honestly, that is a really horrible and disrespectful thing to say to someone.

I don’t think there’s really anything I can compare this kind of a situation to for a cisgender person. I am very certain of my identity and my place in the world and that place is currently as David, a nineteen-year-old boy in transition. So it’s very uncomfortable for me to have to answer people’s numerous questions about my own identity.

I understand why people are curious and I understand that it is a bit confusing but I’m saying that I don’t need to justify myself to anyone. And I won’t any longer.

It is a tricky area and the only way you can know is when someone actually tells you their preferences. But whether I’m David or Laylah, he or she, I’m still the same person. And it’s not really anyone’s place to tell me what I should go by.

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