By Carly Thompson
Editor in Chief

Think about living your day to day life as a facade. Conforming to the image that everyone around you expects. 

That was reality for Louis Grajeda, Hutchinson Community College alumnus.

Growing up and attending a Catholic school, where religion classes were mandatory and it was preached that being gay was evil, Grajeda did not realize he was transgender until he was 15-years old.

However, even when experiencing judgment and harassment, it was easier to identify as a lesbian. 

“It was common for people to say I had just never been with the right guy,” Grajeda said. 

Grajeda said that he never related to the other girls and the typical milestones that they went through. 

“I had suspicions in high school that I was a man, but I couldn’t make the first step and admit it to myself and begin making the social change,” Grajeda said. “I was living as a man without being perceived as a man.”  

When college rolled around, Grajeda still had hesitations about his gender identity and settled for identifying as non-binary. In simple terms, non-binary people identify as neither male nor female. But, at that point, he was at a make-or-break point where he felt that he could not physically live his day-to-day life. He felt physically suffocated. His mental and physical health was deteriorating. 

Grajeda finally felt like he had enough support and made his first step to transition.

During his medical transition, Grajeda got a lot of stares and some people even approached him. He would get mistaken for a man transitioning to a woman and even got told that he “would never be a woman.”

Yes, that was the point. 

Janelle Voth, sponsor of the Gay Straight Alliance Club (GSA) at HutchCC, speaks on the subject as a lesbian who works with LGBTQ youth.

“I think the biggest misconception about the LGBTQ community is that we’re trying to be different to get attention,” Voth said. “We’re just trying to be ourselves.” 

When people hear transgender, it is common for them to assume it is a man transitioning to a woman. There are still a lot of people who think of that myth and do not realize that women can transition to men as well.

“When people found out, they would say I’m this poor broken girl with daddy issues,” Grajeda said. 

Grajeda’s family is still working on accepting his identity. While Grajeda’s mom was relieved that he could finally be the gender he dressed as, her second language is English so it can be hard for her to say the correct pronouns and name. Grajeda said his dad is having a slightly harder time accepting the transition and still uses she/her pronouns and his deadname.

Grajeda fully presents as a male to the stranger’s eye, complete with a mustache and beard. He had a blue-collar job and got a lot of insight on how prevalent sexism still is based on his first-hand accounts of the interactions other men had. 

In his current position, he works with mostly conservative people who previously had stereotypical views on being transgender. 

“When they figure out I am trans they say ‘Oh, I actually like you,’” Grajeda said. 

A common argument that people bring to the table regarding trans people is religion. One saying in particular that Grajeda hears is, “If God wanted you to be a man, then he would have made you a man.” To that he says, “God made wheat, not bread. Us as humans have the ability to participate in the act of creation as well. Nothing is made exactly the way they’re supposed to be. If someone wants me to be unhealthy for the sake of a God, then how good is that God?”

Editor’s note: Resource links: or

Discord Sever Name: LGBTQIAKS Support Group

Gender Sexuality Alliance at Hutchinson Community College

Visits: 1260

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One thought on “Transitioning to a better life – a story of finding and accepting one’s true self

  1. * says:

    At least one of us never had a problem with with you being Trans. I have friends and very close family that are. You are who you are, and should always be accepted that way. You are a great person.

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