My senior year of high school I came out as a lesbian and started dating my first girlfriend. I was so excited to be out and was receiving tons of support from friends and family. Since then, I've had relationships with other girls.

But around two and a half years ago I met someone very special. This person's name was Desiree(Des) and they absolutely changed my life.

I have been fortunate enough to be Des' girlfriend for the past two and half years and it has been the best two and half years of my life. I have fallen completely in love and I am so lucky to be dating my best friend. A couple of months ago, Des came to me saying they were having gender dysphoric feelings. These were not new feelings, but this was the first time they were talking about them openly. I soon found out that these feelings went all the way back to about age 6.

The hurt and shame in Des' voice was heartbreaking. And I was hurting knowing that my love had been hiding himself for the past 21 years. Yes, Des came out to me as transgender that day. I once had a girlfriend that is now my boyfriend.

Now I'm sure the first question you have is "aren't you a lesbian?" and although my sexuality has nothing to do with this article and is none of your business, over the years I have realized that I am pansexual. If you don't know what that is, look it up. Now back to the real point of this article.

Des, born biologically female and raised as a girl, is transgender. Once identifying with she/her/hers pronouns, Des is now using he/him/his pronouns. Des is a man and I have never been more proud to be his girlfriend.

Can you imagine living every day of your life as the person you aren't? Being called a girl when you feel like a boy? Being forced to wear "gender fitting" clothing and hating what you see in the mirror? Now imagine feeling all this pain, and also hearing the horrible things that society says about transgender people and the LGBTQ+ community. Imagine knowing who you are but also knowing that people could hate you for it? That was my boyfriend's life for 21 years. And a lot of people live the same life as well.

But people who are transgender are not freaks and their feelings are not wrong. They way they feel is valid and their identity is true. And I am so proud of my boyfriend for having the strength and courage to live his best life as his truest self. I am so proud to stand next to him, hold his hand, and show the world what unconditional love is.

If someone in your life is trans or is questioning themselves and their gender, please support them. Show them you love them, work really hard to use their preferred pronouns, use gender-inclusive language, and educate others that are ignorant on the topic. They deserve respect and kindness and they are human just like everyone else.

Also, when Des decided to come out to his family, friends, and the world(social media), we decided to have a "gender reveal party!" We did this to be ironic since these parties basically reinforce the completely stupid gender stereotypes our society has plus c'mon, that's freaking funny.