More people were killed in 2016 than any other year on record.
Only one transgender person, William Lound, 30, was officially ‘unlawfully killed’ in the UK last year, but it is unknown how many were killed and not identified as transgender upon their deaths, as they had not undergone full surgery.
With these figures ever-growing, we went to speak to transgender teenager, Andie, about what it was like to come out as transgender, in the deadliest year for transgender people yet.
Andie Charles Millar, 19, Sheffield, was originally named Amy by his adopted parents, who he has lived with from being 3 months old.
After struggling with his identity for years, he started identifying as a man four months ago and hasn’t looked back since.
‘I knew something wasn’t right as school and decided I must be lesbian because I liked girls. Then half way through college when that wasn’t feeling right I decided to identify as gender neutral.
‘The last few years I’ve known I was transgender but have had to fight to get people to accept it.’
I always knew I liked the name Andy. I went in to Starbucks and for the first time I told them that was my name. They spelt it ‘Andie’ and as soon as I saw it I knew that’s who I was meant to be.”
Andie lives with his parents and twin sister, Lucy, who are still struggling to accept Andie’s new identity.
‘My mum still calls me Amy. She’s very traditional and refuses to accept that I’m trans. She adopted three children and two of us are transgender and gay. She says god is punishing her.
Andie (centre) at his 18th birthday party in September 2015, when he was still Amy.
She thinks that because we’re trans and gay she wont have any grandchildren. But me and my girlfriend both want children and have already chosen names!
My sister is very close with our mum. Whenever she’s around Lucy won’t call my Andie either.
I think one day my dad will be more accepting and start calling me Andie, but I don’t think my mum or sister ever will.”
Before Andie started living as a man, he met with his birth father at the beginning of last year.
When he arrived at where they were meeting, there was a woman waiting for him. His birth father was transgender as well and has under gone surgery to become a woman.
‘I was scared when I met my birth dad for the first time. Quite early on she asked me to call her mum instead, so I did.
‘She said she had no one else and could I be her next of kin, so I said yes. A few months later I got a phone call from the police saying she’d been attacked. She died 24 hours later.’
‘I’ve never had much transphobic abuse myself, but of course my mum being killed was a huge set back in my trans journey.
‘I do want to move out and become more independent from my family though, them not accepting I’m not Amy anymore makes things harder.
I went in to Starbucks and for the first time I told them that was my name. They spelt it ‘Andie’ and as soon as I saw it I knew that’s who I was meant to be.”
‘I go to a LGBT support group every week near Leadmill, where I’ve met a lot of people who have supported me in come out as trans though.
‘I’ve also found that my mental health has been so much better since I’ve had someone to talk to about it.
‘I used to work for a different pizza delivery company and I had to really fight for them to even change my name badge to Andie.
‘Now, in my new job, they’re so accepting. A lot of people who work there are around my age, I find younger people are a lot more accepting of it.’
Andie’s partner, Skye, 15, who is pansexual, says she will 100% support Andie in whichever paths he chooses.
‘I went to my first transgender conference in London a few months ago and that really improved my confidence.
‘At the latest one I went to in Sheffield, me and my transgender friend, Eddie, were asked to go around schools and talk about our gender and bullying.
‘I wish there’d been something like that whilst I was at school.
‘I’ve wanted to take my transgender journey forward for a long time but Skye is the one who has pushed me forward to get on the waiting list for testosterone pills.
‘I’m currently on the waiting list, which is 77 weeks from when I was referred to my first appointment.
‘I don’t really want to think about the surgery side of transitioning. That part of my transition journey is so far in the future that I don’t want to get my hopes up.
‘At the moment I’m concentrating on who I am now.’
- 38% of trans people have experienced physical intimidation and threats and 81 per cent have experienced silent harassment (e.g. being stared at/whispered about) according to Trans Mental Health Study 2012
If you are affected by the subjects mentioned in this story, for more help and advice , please visit:
SayIt Sheffield- https://www.sayouthtrust.org.uk/