SINTON, Texas — Many people who identify as LGBTQ face challenges while telling people about their identity, but they can also face triumphs in the process.
Allison Williams said coming out as a transgender woman has had its difficulties, as Williams came out around a year ago.
“I tried to drown myself in alcohol and I can’t tell you how many times I almost went through with it,” Williams said.
But Williams said going through a drinking problem was a learning experience and something that didn’t lead to a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s not a sustainable fix. It’s a bandaid on a bullet wound,” Williams said.
However, Williams still lives with one regret about coming out: not being able to tell some family members.
“I was especially the most scared to tell my father,” Williams said. “I never got to tell him. He passed away whenever I was 22 or 23…I know that he would still love me.”
Williams said being an openly transgender woman has been freeing but it can also present its challenges, like facing discrimination.
Charlie Apple, 17, is a transgender male and has also faced bullying. Apple said it’s something that many transgender people go through.
“Just feeling like we have to be on guard in case we face violence or harassment,” Apple said.
However, Apple said telling people about being transgender has been different than coming out as gay because there are more resources and awareness when it comes to coming out as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
“It’s a completely different experience of having to work with yourself to come out and come to terms with it and come into your own identity,” Apple said.
Apple said while coming out isn’t easy, there are many generations of people that have done it before and there is still hope for people who feel like it’s not an easy process.
“You will be okay, not because it gets better but because you are going to make your life better,” Apple said.
Charlie's mom, Adair Apple, said she has also had to come out as a mother with a transgender child. She said listening to Charlie has helped her understand what it means to have a transgender child.
“Take a step back away from the fear and just look at it from love because all we can do is love your children and if you do that, you’re doing everything right,” Adair Apple said.