THE BLOG

How Justin Bieber Inspired My Transgender Journey

31/07/2015 12:02 BST | Updated 29/07/2016 10:59 BST

Ever since I was little I've always known I was different.

Born a girl called Hannah, I didn't want to play with dolls or wear dresses.

I wanted to play with action men or join the boys for a game of football.

Not that there's anything wrong with girls being into football and action men, so as I grew up, I wasn't ashamed to call myself a tom boy.

'Why conform to gender stereotypes anyway?' I thought, as I threw myself into football.

But even though I indulged my masculine side, I still wasn't happy.

As I started to go through puberty, I hated the way my body was changing and becoming curvy.

I started working out and lifting weights to try and stop myself becoming more womanly.

I knew my female friends didn't feel this way about their bodies, so I began researching my emotions on the internet.

Soon I discovered the term transgender, describing someone who feels like they've been born in the wrong body.

Suddenly it all made sense. It was such a relief to realise that there were other people out there like me - and I wanted to reach out to them.

But first I had to be true to myself, so when I was 14, I decided to tell my mum how I was feeling.

It was difficult telling her - but I know she's always got my best interests at heart and just wants me to be happy.

It came as a shock as I knew it would - but she promised to support me every step of the way.

It felt like such a relief to tell someone about it.

I no longer had to dress up in boys' clothes in my bedroom, hiding away from the world.

Finally, I could just be me.

Pop star Justin Bieber helped me with that.

I've always been a fan of his rebellious ways and his carefree attitude, not to mention his dress sense.

Now that I could finally live as a boy, I went shopping for new clothes and modelled my style on Justin's.

I'd grown up with his posters covering my walls, so I wasn't short of inspiration.

I was dreading going into school and introducing myself as Jordan, but there was no time like the present.

I went home one Friday as Hannah, then came back to school on Monday as Jordan.

My classmates were stunned - they didn't realise I was the same person deep down.

It was then that people began seeing the similarities between me and Justin Bieber.

I was over the moon - not because I think I look like him - but because people could see me as a boy.

But not everyone was supportive and I was bullied at school.

People would call me 'he/she' and over time it got to me.

I knew I had to stand up for myself as well as educating the bullies on what being transgender meant.

Sadly I realised that there were lots of people out there - not just transgender people - who faced discrimination on a daily basis.

So I wanted to reach out to as many people as possible - but how?

Just like my idol Justin Bieber, I decided to write a song to get my message across.

I got in touch with the national charity Fixers, which helps young people campaign on issues they feel strongly about.

They helped me produce my music video Just Be Me which you can watch below.

I wanted to encourage anyone going through the same thing to stand up to transphobic and homophobic abuse.

Nobody should ever have to feel singled out in life. That's the message I'm trying to get across.

The response has been amazing.

I've received messages from other young transgender teens saying that my video has inspired them to stand up to abuse and believe in themselves.

I'm glad I've got a few Beliebers.