My Friend Johnny

Sipping his masala coffee drink and smiling away, the quaint coffee shop is clearly Johnny’s natural environment. Sunlight pours in through the windows making his green eyes sparkle with anticipation. An old friend of mine, he thrives around his friends. Today, he’s going to tell me his story.

Having recently transitioned to a man in the past few years of high school, Johnny Hanisch is what he calls a “baby trans”.

In the summer of his sophomore year of high school, through social media, he found someone who was transgender. The past two years before he had been dealing with Body Dysmorphia.

“Body dysmorphia is when you hate on your body, you don’t feel good about yourself at all,” Hanisch says. “So, I had to deal with that and I didn’t know why I hated myself so much because I lost like 40 pounds, and I was still unsatisfied.”

After that he found out about Body Dysphoria, which is when a person does not feel like they are not in the right gendered body and that hit home for Johnny. In the beginning of his transition, he started going from she pronouns to they to make things simpler for friends and family. It was short lived though, he knew he was a man.

“I’m a guy,” Hanisch says. “I know I’m a guy. Once I started to go by Johnny and he/him pronouns, I started growing from there.”

“I’m a guy. I know I’m a guy. Once I started to go by Johnny and he/him pronouns, I started growing from there.”

For Johnny, the best part about transitioning was when his friends would, “validate the hell out of (him).” Simply calling him by his name and correct pronouns (he/him/his) made a world of difference.

Out shopping with friends on Black Friday, he had a moment of affirmation.

“This guy called me by the right pronouns. He went, ‘There you go sir’, and that was such a highlighted moment for me, it was a huge deal for me, it is for any person that’s trans.” Hanisch says.

Transitioning is no easy journey. There are mental, financial, and social struggles. From accepting yourself, to getting your friends and family to, to getting society to during your day to day life, it’s an uphill climb.

“There’s obviously a moment where everyone doubts themselves,” Hanish says. “Is it really worth this huge fight? Is it worth all the hormones or the surgery…Not everyone has to fight hard to feel comfortable in their body. That’s part of experiencing who you are, experiencing the journey to find yourself.” 

“Not everyone has to fight hard to feel comfortable in their body. That’s part of experiencing who you are, experiencing the journey to find yourself.”

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