For Mike, being transgender shouldn't mean anything to anyone. He says, "I'm a guy now. There's no need for people who don't know me as a guy to think of me in any other way. I always get this stigma about the transgenders-- there's a stigma I feel -- that they're some kind of freak of nature. But we are normal people. We weren't dealt a good hand, we didn't get pocket aces. It really hurt when my family was like well it's hard for us, well it's been harder for me. "
As far as friends goes, did Mike lose any? He says he didn't have any friends to lose. Even now, Mike says, "Right now I still feel like I only have a few friends."
His family has come to terms with Mike's decision but it was a gradual process. Mike said, "My mom had this picture of me and I shattered it in a moment. You know their idea of me has changed because I was transgender and having family support is very important. My mom has been very supportive but initially it was hard for her because to her, her little girl died. It's not that her child changed it's that-- her child died, and she got a new one."
He goes on and says, "My dad has been a quiet supporter but my brother was very against it. He pretty much stopped talking to me for a year and a half. And then everytime we did talk it was an argument. My other family members, my one aunt has been like a second mother to me. She's been very supportive. My uncles were quiet supports, they didn't say anything against it, but they took a little longer to transition."
Max now has been going through the process for two years. He even has a girlfriend. "Yes by that time I was fully transitioned as a guy. And then when I met her we dated for a couple weeks. I wanted to tell her but I didn't want to ruin anything. My feelings for her were really strong and I kind of felt like she really loved/liked me as well. So I needed to tell her sooner."
His plan to break the news? He said, "My plan was to pack all my stuff, I'd tell her, and then I'd run out the door if it went bad." But he did tell her.
"She was just quiet for five to ten minutes. And at least she hasn't pushed me off the couch and told me to leave. And I asked her if she could say something let me know what I'm supposed to do."
True happiness for Mike he said came not just from having a girlfriend, but on another special day. "It wasn't until the day of my chest surgery. I was instantly happy, and I had no idea what that felt like."
To see Part 3 of Mike's journey, click here