Black History Month Project: Personal Stories from Young Black Americans #4
I Didn’t Come Out, I Rose Up!
I suppose I should start off with the basics. My name is Noah Alvarez but here, online, I go by Noah Nomad. I am a 21 year old writer, speaker, and mentor within the LGBT* community. I reside in the sexy city of Los Angeles with my beautiful wife Ryder and our awesome 8-year-old pitbull Shaka. We are the proud founders of House of Technicolor LA, a marketing firm dedicated to bringing positive visibility to LGBT* artists, musicians, actors, and companies throughout the country. We work to create brands that send powerful, positive messages and inspire people within our community and beyond.
I am a transsexual man, meaning I was born biologically female, but I have been living full-time as a man for eight months. I have been taking weekly testosterone injections under the super vision of anendocrinologist in order to help achieve balance with my mind and body as a masculine-identified being.
As a young person I endured years of crippling depression and anxiety due to Gender Identity Disorder. I suffered through years of dysfunction and survived four major suicide attempts. I was properly diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder at the age of nineteen and received treatment and solace through intense therapy at a mental health institution for two months.
I spent most of my childhood and teenage years not being able to connect with myself internally or externally, which led to many personality shifts. I became what people wanted me to become rather than following my own heart and allowing my spirit to shine. I became a very girly, very overly made-up young lady. I used my outer appearance to hide the spiritual and emotional deprivation I had experienced for so many years.
Since coming out as transgender, and transitioning in early 2011, I have been able to live a healthy, whole life and begin the process of healing. I am amazed at what a little self-discovery does for the human spirit! I have a natural love and strong sense of compassion for people from all walks of life who may be suffering with mental illness and/or other disabilities. My mission in life is to spread awareness on mental illness and how people can be functional or dysfunctional while dealing with severe mental handicaps as well as Gender Identity Disorder.
Instead of formerly “coming out” to family and friends, I took muchneeded time for myself to begin the healing process of transitioning. I stepped away from work, my social life, and church and put myself in a peaceful, non-threatening environment where I could allow my spirit to evolve naturally, and my physical makeup to shift appropriately (under a doctor’s supervision). When I emerged after three months of hormone therapy, I was a new person. I had become a person ready to live life in a way that would satisfy my soul.
I experienced a lot of backlash from family and friends who felt that my transition came out of nowhere. Because I had focused so much of my energy prior to transitioning on creating a falsely-adorned young lady who used makeup, clothes, hair and everything else ‘femme’ to hide who I really desired to be. I’ve had many people question the legitimacy of my Gender Identity Disorder, but I never let that keep me from moving forward and becoming the man I’ve always wanted to be, and the masculine identity I have always connected with internally. I believe that I never really came out as trans*, rather I chose to rise up and BE. I chose to come out of oppression, come out of self-loathing, come out of self-deprication, come out of hopeless and fear.
Life is such a beautiful journey, especially when you are able to connect with your spirit and soul in an authentic way. I am dedicated to spreading the message of the importance of living your lifeauthentically and standing up for who you are, regardless of the challenges that threaten to keep you bound up in societal norms.
Currently, I mentor three young transguys and I contribute to several LGBT* blogs and websites with positive nuggets on self-esteem and self-love. I am excited to have the opportunity to share my story, and to help other individuals who are looking to fall in love with themselves, discover what really makes their spirit happy.
In love and light,
– Noah Nomad