Teen experiences life as he feels intended

Student faces struggles transitioning and surviving judgement


Photo by Sofia Patrone, Graphic by Leah Newhouse and Chloe Meredith

Sophomore Jay DiPatrizio is a transgender student at SHS, currently making the transition from female to male. DiPatrizio says he already recognized there was something not right in how he felt every time someone referred to him as “she,” or called him a girl.

Sofia Patrone, Reporter

A month and a half ago, sophomore Jay DiPatrizio scraped together all the courage he had in him to come out to his family, admitting his desire to face the long process of transitioning from female to male.

After coming out, DiPatrizio is determined to continue with his transition, even after acknowledging some of the struggles that come along with it, such as the high price of necessary hormones and the judgment he might receive.

Starting from a young age, DiPatrizio says he already recognized there was something not right in how he felt every time someone referred to him as “she,” or called him a girl.

“(Being called she or girl) It made me feel uncomfortable,” DiPatrizio said. “It felt wrong, like in the chest. You just know when it feels wrong.”

After facing his family, the second step to transitioning was physical change, which consisted of buying a chest binder to wear daily.

At the age of 18, DiPatrizio says he will begin hormone replacement therapy, which will include taking the hormone testosterone. Testosterone is a hormone that helps changing and deepening the voice, and reshapes the body. It is something that people like DiPatrizio will have to take their whole life in pills or needle form once a week.

Not yet reaching the required age for the hormone, he will have to wait to start the second half of the process, for his mother’s pleasure. His mother thinks that he can be a boy without going through the entire physical transitioning process. But even though she would prefer for him to remain a girl, she understands his feelings and accepts them.

“I told my grandma first,and she was okay with it.” DiPatrizio said. “When I told my mom I wanted to start testosterone, she did not like that at all.”

DiPatrizio believes the process itself is not hard. The harder part of the transition for DiPatrizio is taking on students’ opinions about his decision to transition.

“Outside (school) it’s fine.” DiPatrizio said. “But boys here (at SHS) are really judgmental.”

Standing at his side to support him through each decision, freshman Dakota Adams played a big role on convincing him to come out, helping him pass through the tough times.

Adams was close to DiPatrizio before he made the decision to transition, and he believes his friend is happier now than he was before. He believes that he has not changed his personality at all, and he felt like DiPatrizio always tended to act differently from others, along with wearing different clothes and being interested in skateboarding. Adams also does not feel like he has to act somehow different around DiPatrizio.

“You just have to be there if he needs something, and use the right pronouns,” Adams said. “It’s really not something extra or above and beyond-just a normal friend.”

Something Adams said he admires about his friend is the maturity he has. He says DiPatrizio stays strong, ignoring those who judge and make comments about him.

DiPatrizio explains that he knows some believe transgender people like him decide to transition, because they are unhappy with themselves and their life and think that transitioning from one gender to another will make them happier. However, for DiPatrizio, this isn’t the case.

“It’s not like that.” DiPatrizio said. “No matter what, if you have depression, it’s going to stay that way. Doctors won’t even allow you to take hormones.”