Student reveals transgender identity to peers


After suppressing her true identity for so long, junior Sydney Dela Rosa decided it was something she could no longer hide from those around her. After feeling uncomfortable in a tuxedo, Dela Rosa announced to her orchestra class that she was transgender.

“Usually being in a tux isn’t so bad for me,” Dela Rosa said. “I don’t know what suddenly made it so bad. It’s just during Pre-UIL, I felt really uncomfortable and I couldn’t focus on anything but the fact that I was wearing the tux.”

Dela Rosa talked it over with her directors, and they decided that she would start wearing a dress for formal uniform. She had already let two other classes know that she identifies herself as a girl, although she was born in a male body.

“It’s kind of a recent thing, at least where I’ve been expressing it,” Dela Rosa said. “I’ve always noticed that I’ve had signs of being transgender, but I never expressed it because of this pressure to adhere to the gender binary. I’d rather not do that. At this point, I’m done hiding.”

Dela Rosa’s attitude when it comes to letting people know of her identity has changed, as she said she is now less strict on herself. For example, she used to hold back from correcting people when they used incorrect pronouns to describe her, but will now do so, if necessary.

She has received a great amount of support from both her friends and family, who are accepting of her situation. She said they are willing to defend her when others are disrespectful.

“Someone in my AmStud class was supposedly making fun of me, and they got punched in the face by one of my friends,” Dela Rosa said. “I met a lot of my friends after last year, at least the ones I talk to now. So they were all introduced to me as a girl. I don’t really try to be friends with trans-phobic or homophobic people. It’s just not a good idea.”

Although Dela Rosa is aware that some people are judgmental, she has not had anything ill-mannered said directly to her. She said she wants people who feel negatively towards her to open their mind.

“Remember that it’s not just your world — it’s our world,” Dela Rosa said. “It’s a shared world. I’m not trying to be selfish. I’m just trying to be true to myself. They can still be true to themselves and hold their opinions. Just don’t force them on me.”

Dela Rosa said that sex and gender are two different things. She views sex as the biological definition of male or female. On the other hand, she sees gender as how a person identifies him or herself.

“Something that I’ve being going by a lot is that everything psychological is biological,” Dela Rosa said. “I’ve had some comments saying that it’s unnatural. To me, it’s not unnatural.”

For anyone who feels similar to Dela Rosa, she encourages them to do what they need to do to be themselves.

“If you feel pressure to come out, and if you feel you’re brave enough, go for it,” Dela Rosa said. “If you’re not strong enough, be brave enough to push through. I’m not strong, but I’m very brave and I’ve realized that this year. Bravery is a big thing for me.”

This same advice is what compelled Dela Rosa to announce to her orchestra class that she is transgender. She prepared the speech in a notebook and then read it out aloud to her peers. Dela Rosa said that when she was done, she did not see anyone who wasn’t applauding.

“Whenever you feel like criticizing someone, just remember that not all the people in the world have had the advantages that you’ve had,” Dela Rosa announced. “If not unnatural, then it must be weird. I agree, sometimes it is weird; as people must accept this as a part of not our individual world, which we’ve clung to so naturally, but of our collective world. We are weird. We are human. I am transgender. My body is male, but my gender identity is female. Weird? Sure, if you’re not used to it. If you support me, thank you. If not, I ask that you open your mind. All I want is to be happy being who I am.”