Many transgender people find support and comfort from those who have already embarked on their trans journey.
One trans man inspiring people around the globe is Dallas, Texas-based Kristian Starla.
A barber by trade, he this week posted the latest in a series of inspiring images to Instagram. This one documented some of the changes his body has undergone since he began taking testosterone supplements one year ago.
He tells GSN he began his transition journey in March 2016, after staring research back in 2014.
In a message accompanying the posting, he says: ‘In a couple of days I will be a year on Testosterone
‘This journey was long and hard but thru it all the ups and downs I’m still here. All the negativity that I have received at first it use to hurt now I eat that S#*t there is no stopping me now!
‘You can say do whatever to hurt me it’s not going to affect me not one bit. Crazy thing is the people that are doing it only trying to bring you down because their not happy with themselves.
‘The world will be a better place when people worry about their own life that they hate so much.
‘Get off your butt and make it happen’
‘Everyday is a new day to change you’re not happy do something about it don’t sit around waiting for someone to feel sorry for you or help you no it don’t work like that get off your butt and make it happen.
‘And to my brothers that’s just getting started don’t give up just have patience and hold your head up words can’t hurt you. You will lose people who you thought loved you and it will hurt don’t let it break you if nobody loves you I love you just keep going and stay bless.’
The posting has received an overwhelmingly positive response. One commented: ‘Wow!!! I’m just checking out your page! The pretty girl I once knew has turned into a handsome man!
‘It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. Be patient with those who haven’t quite grasp the concept as the mourn the loss of the person that they will never see again. As long as you’re happy, I’m happy for you! Live your life with no regrets, and you will smile for years to come…. love u cousin!’
Starla responded: ‘It means a lot coming from you because you watched me grow up from a little girl into a mother and to who I am today. I understand it takes patience and I’m not forcing it I know it’s hard on everyone else but it was time and I’m so happy I made the choice I made to be free.’
‘I have self love, confidence, and genuine support’
The next day, he posted another image, and commented on the feedback he’d received.
‘My transition taught me a lot,’ he said. ‘Things I knew and things I didn’t know about myself.
‘I kept most of my transition to myself. Why? Because I had to learn and be able to handle Kristian before the world could.
‘There was a time when I didn’t want to continue my journey, but look at me now! I have self love, confidence, and genuine support.
‘I’m not here to be famous, for the likes, or followers. I’m here to use my voice for my fellow brothers and sisters in the LGBT community who may be suffering from rejection or insecurities.
‘My suggestion is to educate yourself before you make an impulse decision. Make sure you’re making choices based on the right reasons and not just for curiosity.
‘Being informed and educating myself was one of the best steps I took. Knowing who you are now and who you want to become is everything. I appreciate all the love I received and everyone who decided to follow my journey.’
Yesterday, Starla followed it up with another posting marking another milestone. He is soon to have ‘top surgery’ and the costs will be covered.