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OPINION

A Life I Never Imagined: Finding Myself

A Life I Never Imagined: Finding Myself

A Life I Never Imagined: Finding Myself

ASTER LUFKIN ’23

Lufkin posing in Town Hill Cemetery at end of his Senior year.

Editor-in-Chief

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Aster Lufkin '23

People often ask me, “When did you know you were trans?” and honestly, I’m not sure. 


The technical answer would be a week or so after I learned the word at a girls’ leadership camp (yes, I do see the irony in realizing I’m a trans man at a girls’ camp). However, I knew before then. 


As a little kid, I always felt different. I remember copying the mannerisms of my dad and trying to dress like him (I even wore bright green crocs to achieve this end). I eventually began to branch out on my own. In one of my favorite photos of me when I was young, I’m wearing a Spiderman costume and high heels, feeding the cows. I don’t think seeing me then, anyone would’ve guessed I would go into costume design. Once I got to elementary school, I started copying the boys around me, too. Not so much in the way I dressed or in my interests, but I remember spending hours in the bathroom trying to talk and move like they did. In third grade, however, I officially had “cooties,” and I was no longer welcome in the sandbox with the other guys. 


I turned to reading instead. I was experiencing bullying at the time, so my teacher would let me read in her classroom during recess. I read everything. Reading truly made me who I am toda y. In eighth grade, I was outed as a lesbian. I’m not a lesbian. I never was a lesbian. I do not know how this started. I was terrified that my parents would find out. The bullying was awful. I began receiving death threats, and the few friends I did have wouldn’t associate with me at school for fear of backlash. I made a decision then and there I would never tell a soul about my queer identity. 


I made it to Hotchkiss and ended up moving into Watson, the all-gender dorm. In Watson, I had a proctor named Asher, an out trans man. I idolized him. He showed me that I could be me and be happy. He helped me buy my first binder and reminded me that everything would be okay. He changed my life. I decided I was going to live every day of my life as myself, if only to spite everyone who told me I couldn’t. 


I came out at school and then to my family, and though both were rough in the beginning, acceptance just took time (and a lot of spamming of educational articles). My relationship with my family started moving in the right direction and (almost) everyone at school acknowledged and respected my identity. 


Today, all over the country, the rights of trans kids like me and Asher are being taken away. Kids are feeling scared and alone. They don’t get to have the safe haven of school that I have had here, due to laws prohibiting teachers from speaking about queer identities. 


I implore you, if you take anything away from my story, see it as a call to action. Call your local representatives to object to these laws, donate to funds like Lambda Legal and the ACLU, and if you can, vote. Please vote. If evil people don’t get elected, evil laws won’t be passed. 


Now, four years later, I’m living a life I never imagined would be possible. I’m an out trans man with a relatively accepting family and community. I do a lot at this school. I’ve founded many clubs, including the transgender and non-binary student affinity group, I am over-involved with theater, I serve on a boatload of committees. 


I do it all with the hope that maybe I can be somebody’s Asher. Maybe there’s some scared, lonely kid who just needs reassurance that everything will be okay. I made it, and they can too.

Benjamin Who is an editor-in-chief of The Record.

February 1st

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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