Hello my name is Mateo Nunez my pronouns are He/Him. Im a Transman born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. I lived there my whole life until now I live in Huntington Beach, California. I am trying to move to Long Beach just finding housing right now hasn’t been working out. But let’s start from when I was in elementary school I knew something was different about me, I always wanted to hangout with the guys and play dodgeball and football I wanted to be the little athletic kid. I wore boy clothes and boxers. All the girls in elementary made fun of me for it or called me tomboy. I didn’t think much of it at the time so I asked my mom what a tomboy is and she told me what it was and explained it too me. So I always said I was a tomboy but then as I got a little older I knew it was more than that. I tried dating a guy once but it didn’t feel right. It’s like I was trying to hard to be something I’m not. I was sexually abused when I was 10 and it made me feel disgusted with myself, with men. He took everything and I couldn’t understand why. So it made me hate men and I still till this day have flashbacks. I don’t like being touched by men not even a hug. It changed my life forever so I hid that from everyone including my mom. So in middle school I identified as a stud dated a few girls here and there and it felt right but I was still missing something. So my freshman year of high school I started researching and researching trying to figure out why I’m I so different, why am I a female, why can’t I be a male, how can I change ? So then I came across FTM YouTube videos and I was hooked I watched them over and over and all the questions I had was answered. So then I knew I was born in the wrong body and there was a way to change it. The only issue I had at that point was how do I tell my mom who is a single parent that her daughter wants to be a male? Will she judge me ? Will she accept me? So I started slowly hinting it to her and asked her what does she think about the transgender community and her next words is what changed my life forever. She told me that if someone is born in the wrong body then they should have the chance to change it so that’s when I opened up and told her I wanted to change my gender and she was fully supportive. So on August 4th of 2016 was my first testosterone injection and I was the happiest I’ve ever been. So from there I was taking the injection .5 every two weeks and I was anxious, when is facial hair gonna come, am I passing as a guy all these thoughts in my head was an everyday checklist for me. I would go out in public wearing a binder but still not passing as a male in other peoples eyes. They said my face is too feminine or my voice wasn’t dropped yet. So that discouraged me every second I heard it but if anything it pushed me to go harder to try everything I can to look like a male. About 2 years into it I was in a toxic relationship, my drinking got even worse then what I wanted to admit at the time. I couldn’t keep a job, depression was at its max, my relationship was the worst I’ve ever been in, stopped testosterone cause I didn’t have money or insurance. So I was off of it for a year and dysphoria was at its peak it was the worst possible feeling I’ve had. All my feminine features was slowly coming back so was the misgendering. So I decided I need help so I went to an outpatient mental health/ substance abuse place in my hometown to stop the drinking and drugs and fix my anxiety and depression. I was committed everything slowly started falling back into place. I ended my toxic relationship and started focusing on myself at least so I thought. So about 4 months go by and I’m thinking I’m fixed everything is good. I got insurance but it would be valid till Jan 1st, I had a job but not really I was doing door dash and just doing what I can stopped drinking those 4 months. Got on medication for my anxiety and depression and then I met someone who at the time was perfect and wasn’t toxic. We was best friends for 4 years all through high school and just went our separate ways but met back up. Jan 1st came I got back on testosterone, got a line cook job, got a new car, was in a healthy relationship, started drinking again. But it was different for me that time everything was just too good to be true. My facial hair was growing in fast my voice was deep, gaining muscles and no more misgendering. Got an apt for me and her, and then my whole life turned back to the worse. I don’t know if anyone has ever just had a feeling of something and it wakes you up out of your sleep but I had that feeling so I woke up and checked her phone and she was messing around with my best friend behind my back, in our apt, and I spiraled back down broke up with her started drinking every single day of my life, started partying, doing drugs the whole thing. I managed to stay on testosterone throughout it all. I got my name legally changed to Mateo Nesiah Nunez in 2019 and I was so glad to have a masculine name. But I couldn’t get rid of depression and drinking So on 5-17-21 I decided to leave TN and come to California to get clean to really truly fix myself and relearn myself who is Mateo Nunez. So on today September 24, 2021 I now have 4 months and 7 days clean. I have actively been on testosterone and also work in treatment. On September 29, 2021 is my top surgery consultation and Oct 8th 2021 I will be marrying the love of my life. So change is important being who you truly want to be is a blessing. Never give up on yourself, chase after what YOU believe is right for you and know you are not alone. I know who I am and I proudly stand as FTM masculine male who is now a recovering alcoholic/addict. I want to help others in treatment or with the process of transitioning. I want to help others who need guidance or advice. I want to help others who don’t have that support that they need. I am worthy, YOU are worthy ! I am Mateo Nunez ! Thanks for letting me share.