By Kaylynn Paynter
Sept. 30, 2012
It was November, 2012, and Becka Wilson sat down at her computer and began to type.
“For the better part of 20 years I have struggled with what started as an unknown discomfort inside, constantly battling reality and what was in my mind,” she wrote in a personal blog post.
“The burden became heavier and heavier. The heavy onset of depression finally caught up to me.”
Fast-forward to September, 2014 and Wilson’s blog post resurfaced, only this time it wasn’t private.
Wilson posted a link to her blog post on Facebook, giving this explanation along with it.
“Here on September 1st, I start a new chapter in my life. There’s no easy way to say it, so brace your selves for a bombshell. I am transgender.”
Wilson, who was given the birth name Matt, suffers from gender dysphoria, more commonly known as transgender.
Gender dysphoria is defined in the standards of care set by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health as distress caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and that person’s sex assigned at birth.
This distress has followed Wilson around for almost her entire life.
“I would probably compare it to that feeling you get when you’re really tired and everything becomes a blur. When you’re not sure what day of the week it is and can’t remember what you did five minutes ago.”
As a teenager with ample access to the internet, Wilson took it upon herself to start digging around for information, thinking she couldn’t be the only person feeling this way.
“Through internet searches I came to the conclusion that it (gender dysphoria) was the most logical explanation.”
By the time she was in Grade 8, Wilson knew beyond a reasonable doubt she was a transsexual female, but fear of a black lash from her peers kept her silent.
“Fear, uncertainty, wanting to be accepted by peers, wanting to fit in and not be ‘different’ kept that bottled up inside and I never told anyone.
“At the time there was another trans teen from the Summerside area and I remember hearing on the radio in the car with either Mom or Dad all the negative comments and death threats they had directed towards them. That in itself scared me enough.”
By the time she was 24, Wilson was at a crossroads. In a slump between jobs and fighting a severe bout of depression, she found solace on the internet once again.
“I found dozens of people on YouTube blogging about their transition journeys and how happy they were, how much better life was, how accepting people were.”
In what she describes as the most nerve racking 24-hour period of her life, Wilson came out to her parents and two sisters in November, 2012.
“I sat down at my laptop one night and just poured my heart out into what became a four-page letter. I didn’t proofread it because I didn’t want to second guess myself or change anything to censor it. I wanted my raw emotion to come across in the letter so they better understood how I felt and where I was coming from.”
The family’s reaction was shock but once that passed it was nothing but love and support.
“I’m extremely fortunate to have such amazing support from not only my family, but friends and even friends of friends and family friends. The support is overwhelming.”
Wilson’s younger sister, Katlyn, said things started to make sense after her sibling’s revelation.
“I was able to connect the dots and understand things from the past and how this news made sense.”
She spent a lot of time thinking about how quickly things would change and how fast she would have to adjust to the change. She’s still adjusting, calling Becka by her birth name and referring to her as “him”.
“For the first few months I spent a lot of time thinking about when things would change but soon realized there was no rush and Matt would take things at his own pace.”
Wilson is in the early stages of her transition and still biologically male, but her five-year plan will see her undergo gender reassignment surgery, allowing her to live as a woman.
“I felt as though it was something he wanted to do for a long time, and it was just that, his decision. I just feel as though he knows what’s right for him and that he was ready for that step,” said Katlyn.