Student finds love, acceptance in his community

Riley Neil, Features editor

Born biologically as a girl, junior Seth Wirtz was always considered a “tomboy” as a kid. He played with dinosaurs in the dirt, and never played with the Barbies that his sister did. Always wearing masculine clothes and keeping his hair short as he got older, he realized something was not right. Once puberty hit in sixth grade, he struggled with being very angry at all times, which created tension with his family. In eighth grade he cut his hair even shorter and started watching documentaries and reading articles about being transgender. It was not until tenth grade that Wirtz said to a friend that he knew he was transgender and made the transition of changing his name from Sydney to Seth, officially identifying as a male.

“After I said I was trans to a friend, it just clicked. I came out to my mom, and my whole family knew. It has been kinda rough since then. I go by Seth and he/him pronouns at school, but it doesn’t work like that at home. My family is supportive, but they do not use my pronouns, but I am still very thankful for them. I struggle with depression and anxiety, so my mom has taken me to therapy and got me a psychologist for it to get as much help as I need,” Wirtz said.

Wirtz’s father has been supportive of the change, and Wirtz talks to him every night on the phone, as he lives in California. He has even called Wirtz his son, which makes Wirtz feel a lot more accepted. Wirtz’s friends have also been very supportive throughout the last few years.

“I remember last year at the end of the year, all my friends came up to me and asked what my preferred name and pronouns were, which was really cool,” Wirtz said. “They have been very accepting of the whole thing, as they just see me as me.”

Since coming out, there have been both ups and downs in Wirtz’s life, as he still struggles with depression that fosters from gender dysphoria, the tension between the biological sex and the gender one identifies with.

“Once I realized I was transgender, all those feelings from middle school and junior high all flooded in and I had to process it, but also I have been really happy as I can finally be myself,” Wirtz said.

The best part of being transgender, Wirtz finds, is being an advocate for it. Wirtz wants to share his experience and speak out to others. He has been working on the bathroom issue by talking to different counselors in the school to work on a solution for him. Recently, he also went on a FFA trip, where his teacher was very accommodating with hotel rooms and other issues.

Wirtz plans on getting into veterinary work and the Navy program, ROTC, due to the military being very open to the LGBT+ community in the last few years. Wirtz also plans on doing things such as legally getting his name changed and physically transitioning once he turns 18.

Through it all, Wirtz plans on being an advocate for the transgender community and becoming more true to himself everyday.

“I would say to anyone who was going through the confusion that I was a few years ago to not be too hard on yourself,” Wirtz said.”Because in high school there are going to be struggles whether that be unsupportive parents or not being physically who you want to be. I would say to get a good support group around you whether it be in real life or on the Internet. And I would say to be true to yourself, because you are living in a world that is more accepting than it has ever been before.”