Pronouns: He/Him/His or They/Them
Lucian vividly recalls a game in elementary school called “Catch and Kiss ‘em.” At one point, his peers were shouting at him that he wasn’t playing right when he started chasing after the girls.
He was a tomboy growing up with two close boy friends, never really seeing himself as a girl. From a very early age, Lucian just knew he was attracted to girls and didn’t feel like one himself.
“From a very early age before I even really knew what all of those words meant, that’s just how I knew,” he explained. “I liked to play football, climb trees and build tree forts, all that kind of stuff, so I’d say [I’ve known I was LGBTQ] since birth.”
From growing up in a heavily Catholic household, Lucian’s coming out was done in baby steps. In elementary school, he asked his mother what it meant to be gay. Her explanation has stuck with him:
“It’s when two men, you know, love each other, like the way your dad and I do.”
His world and perception of self within that world started to change when puberty hit.
“I just felt like my whole body just completely betrayed me. I couldn’t just play football with my friends,” he said. “I couldn’t do these things because now the guys were treating me differently. They saw me as a girl, now trying to throw quarters down my shirt and all sorts of stuff.”
When he was 16, he came out as a lesbian — at least to everybody except his family. His mom knew he was hiding something, but never quite understood what it was.
“At one point I had fallen asleep on my bed with one of my friends who’s a Black man,” he said. “My mother is trying to figure out what it is; she thought I was hiding the fact that I’m dating a Black person, which was not the case at all.”
After this, Lucian decided to test the water and see what his father would say about his sister being hypothetically gay. He replied, “I would tell her she’s my baby and always will be.”
Lucian said it was safe to say his father knew, but it took about three more months before his mother knew as well. But it was nice to have someone stand up for him when his mom would say some hurtful things, he added. By having one parent be alright with him being out, it was getting to the point where he had to tell his mother, who has seven sisters and five brothers in an “incredibly French-Canadian Catholic family.”
The family has tea parties once a month which starts with rosaries, or a set of prayers. His mother returned home after such gathering, embraced her child and said, “the Holy Spirit told me you are gay. It’s ok and God still loves you.”“It took God telling her I was gay for it to be fine. The next issue was if I even try to tell her I’m not a woman,” he said. “Coming out as a lesbian was true to my sexuality, but it wasn’t my whole truth. My gender was still in the closet.”
He realized he needed to take that next step. He was almost there, so why not? When he finally made the jump to transition in January 2017, he was married and said his partner was very supportive.
When he started the testosterone the first night he and his partner had dinner at his parents’ house and he told them he was transgender. His mom responded, “Are you gonna get your boobs cut off?” Her words were playful. “She seemed to know already at this point. After 38 years she basically laughed and exclaimed, ‘well, duh.”
Finally making the leap was freeing for him, but for folks who aren’t safe or ready to come out, he said to live life as well as possible.
“If being in the closet is what you have to do to be safe for you then do that,” he said. “When you can start taking baby steps to find a new tribe and seek your happiness elsewhere, do it.
“At the end of the day, you only have one life to live. Time only speeds up as you get older, and it’s about the journey. So take that journey, something that you’re happy to have lived with, because not all relationships are made to last and sometimes the things that suck teaches us the most about how to be happy.”
For part two of Luke’s story, click here.