Born and raised as a female, Liam Magan of Keene, New Hampshire, struggled through years of depression and confusion before realizing his transgender identity at the age of 22.
Since then, he has become an advocate for transgender rights, and shares his life through social media and his YouTube channel. His goal is to educate others about the transgender experience.
Magan will share his journey of discovering his true self and his struggle with being an LGBT Christian at 4 p.m. March 31 as St. Paul Lutheran Church in Carlisle marks Transgender Day of Visibility.
The day is held to show support for the trans community by bringing attention to the accomplishments of trans people while fighting transphobia and discrimination by spreading knowledge of the trans community.
Q. Without giving away too much of your talk, would you share some key moments in your journey?
A. A crucial moment for my journey was when I shaved my head. That was when I saw myself looking back at me for the first time. In that moment, all of the small things I’d said and done throughout my life finally made sense. That’s a lot of what I will be sharing in my talk, the small things that they led me to coming out, and also what challenges I’ve faced since.
Q. How has your life changed since you began transitioning?
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A. To put it simply, I have a life now. Before, I didn’t want my life. It didn’t feel like it was mine. I kept to myself because I didn’t want anyone to know me. I didn’t even want to know myself. When I thought about the future as a woman, I saw a blank. Now I think about the future and there is so much that I want to do.
Q. What drives you to be so visible, and open, on social media, and to bring your message to the church?
A. I think about what my younger self would’ve benefited from witnessing, and if I can impact one life by being open, then it’s all worth it. I have a call on my heart to share my journey with others, and I will go wherever someone will have me.
Q. What have you been doing in your work as an activist?
A. I didn’t set out to become an activist, but last year I stumbled into activism when a panel series called Ask A Trans Person Anything was being hosted in my hometown by the Freedom NH campaign. I got involved after that with the campaign for HB 1319, which successfully added gender identity to the protections against discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations. I participated in numerous AATPA panels, shared my story of workplace discrimination at hearings for the bill, and spoke at rallies before the House and Senate votes. Now my activism is really just me sharing my life online through social media and my YouTube channel.
Q. What one thing could people do to support transgender people?
A. One thing people can do to support transgender people is to honor their pronouns and preferred names, especially when that person is not there. When a friend of mine transitioned at work, I found that co-workers would revert back to his former name and pronouns when he wasn’t there. I was constantly having to correct them. Effort is important both when the person is around and when they are not.