LIFESTYLE

Trans Women Share Powerful Lessons For Their Younger Selves: 'You Are Enough. Value Yourself'

08/03/2016 09:25 GMT | Updated 08/03/2016 10:59 GMT

trans women

There's no denying transgender visibility has soared over the past few years. Since Caitlyn Jenner came out in 2015 and transitioned in the public eye, media coverage of trans issues has increased exponentially.

Much has changed in a short space of time and awareness of what it means to be trans is constantly growing. But there is still so much more to be said.

As part of our month-long 'All Women Everywhere' campaign, giving a voice to women from all walks of life, we reached out to trans women and asked them to share the lessons they'd give to their younger selves.

Their responses, while sometimes stark and upsetting, show just how far these amazing ladies have come. Prepare to be inspired.

Munroe Bergdorf, 29, DJ And Trans Activist

munroe bergdorf

"Stop watering yourself down, stop trying to fit in and stop seeking approval from ANYONE at the detriment of your own happiness.

"You are enough. Value yourself."

Evie Andrew, 25, Data Scientist

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"You're probably not feeling too great about yourself right now, like you don't want to spend time with other people. I just want you to know it's not because you are weird, or a loner, it's because you're a girl and they don't realise it yet.

"First of all, younger self, I think you'd enjoy this world a bit more if you express yourself. Trust your instinct, wear more feminine clothes and makeup, you'd be surprised how much you pull them off!

"You should let go of those rigid, unnatural, male mannerisms you're beginning to force upon yourself, it doesn't matter that the boys tease you that you're girly, they'll absolutely eat their words in time.

"Seek help. Be insistent, you are right about your feelings, you are ALWAYS right about your feelings, you should act on every one.

"Younger self, please don't waste your youth on hopeless day dreams. There is hope, you just have to take these small steps, one at a time."

Charlie Craggs, 23, Founder Of Nail Transphobia

charlie craggs

"I want to tell you it gets better but I'd be lying, it doesn't get better; you get better.

"Your life's gonna get a lot harder in some ways and you're gonna face a lot of hate, but you will never be happier because it doesn't matter if the rest of the world hates you if you love yourself.

"You're gonna find this hard to believe now but you're going to love yourself one day, I promise."

Sophia Banks, 36, Chef

sophia banks

"You need to worry more about your self-worth and less of what people think of you.

"You don't need to be a beautiful woman to come out as trans. Being visibly trans is better than hiding yourself from the world.

"You don't need to be anyway or look anyway to be trans. You need to give yourself time to find out what transition means. You need to know that it's okay to change things about your body and also okay not too."

Alex Forshaw, 42, Senior Software Engineer

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"You've got this feeling that how you look, how people see you is wrong. They don't see the person you know you are inside. And you're frightened to say anything in case you're told that how you feel is wrong, that those other people know better than you who you are.

"You're afraid that they won't accept you, that you'll be cast out and alone.

"But take that step, be yourself. Don't go through years of hiding in fear.

"It's not easy. You'll have your share of trouble along the way. Some people you'd thought were friends will not accept you: let them go. You don't need people around you who aren't supportive.

"Be yourself and step out with confidence."

Jennifer Espinoza, 28, Writer

jennifer espinoza

"Every moment spent hating yourself, feeling miserable in your own body, and being rejected and despised for who you are will be worth it.

"Your suffering will not be meaningless. It will make you into the person you are meant to become and that person is a strong, kind, beautiful, and talented woman.

"I know you don’t love yourself yet, but I love you. I appreciate you. Thank you for surviving."

all women everywhere

HuffPost UK is running a month-long project in March called All Women Everywhere, providing a platform to reflect the diverse mix of female experience and voices in Britain today. Through features, video and blogs, we'll be exploring the issues facing women specific to their age, ethnicity, social status, sexuality and gender identity. If you’d like to blog on our platform around these topics, email ukblogteam@huffingtonpost.com with a summary of who you are and what you’d like to blog about.

SEE ALSO:

Transgender Rights Came Of Age In 2015 Thanks To So Much More Than Caitlyn Jenner

Transgender Explained: Everything You Need To Know About Being Trans

People Are Sharing Their Experience Of Being Transgender In Powerful Video