Annie always felt like there was something wrong with her, and by the age of 15 she suffered from depression and anxiety. “I was very confused. At the time I did not know that it had something to do with gender, but I felt wrong looking at my face in the mirror”. Annie began to research the internet and found out that the way she felt was similar to some trans-persons. She got scared.
“I was afraid that people would assault me in the streets if I dressed in a dress. That I would be yelled at or physically attacked”, says Annie, “but I just had to do it. Being a trans-person is not a choice. You are assigned a gender category at birth. I discovered that my gender category was not the right one for me”. For almost a year Annie has been her name. Her name from before her transition is a dead name.
Annie has never been assaulted. However walking around in her neighbourhood in the United Kingdom, she is afraid that transphobia people will yell at her or even attack her. “Back home I have my car, and I feel much safer when I can drive to events instead of using public transportation”.
Annie is currently a student at International People’s College in Elsinore, Denmark. Coming to Denmark has been a challenge, because she does not speak Danish. “The other day I was walking at Kongevejen, eating some pastry, and some Danes said something to me while passing. I did not know if they were insulting me or not. At a bus stop a man said the same thing to me, and I had the chance to ask him what he said.” “Velbekomme”, said the man “that means bon appetite in Danish” he continued. “I felt very happy about that”, Annie laughs, “but not knowing what people say can raise some anxiety walking around Elsinore”.
In Denmark the culture is very much like “mind your own business” says Annie, “then it is easier to blend in”. Annie is very happy to be in Denmark at International People’s College, a Danish Folk High School, with students from all over the world. “The school has core values very similar to my own” Annie says, and continues “it is a safe place for me”.
In relation to International Day of the Girl, Annie has some advice for other trans-women who have not yet begun transition. “Look inside yourself. You have two possible futures. Is the one as a women better for you, then do it. And don’t be scared!” Annie laughs while stating that not being scared is quite impossible, but still, “you will find acceptance in places you least expect it…“