CW/TW: Physical and emotional abuse
At just 7 years old, Justyn knew something was different about him. Though he’s always had friends in the LGBTQ community, he didn’t know much about it until he was a teenager.
Growing up, he was physically and emotionally abused by his parents and others for the way he felt.
“My voice and my feelings didn’t matter,” he said. But when he started exploring his identity, he felt “free and happy” with himself.
Through a text message, he first came out to a friend of his, who is now his wife.
Though worried he’d be rejected and disowned, “she supported me through it all.” However, his family ended up disowning him.
“[They want] nothing to do with me,” Justyn explained.
In 2015, he started pursuing drag, came out to his now-wife and started transitioning.
After just two gender therapy sessions, he was approved to begin his journey.
“[Drag] helped me realize who I was and who I was meant to be,” Justyn said. “Becoming my true authentic self was the best decision I have ever made. I still, to this day, do drag and have competed in multiple pageantry systems.”
He has three pageantry titles and is more than proud of them, he said. In the same year, his transition began in September and is now waiting for his hysterectomy coming this November.
“Just be yourself, love yourself, believe in yourself even if it’s hard to do. Be your own hero. You can accomplish anything you put your mind to.”