Tom Sosnik, a brave 13-year-old American teen, has come out as transgender to his school and his community in a moving speech.
His sister, Gil, shared a YouTube video of the speech on Facebook.
She explained that she hoped it “could empower trans and otherwise gender nonconforming folks while also conjuring empathy and understanding among allies.”
Tom began his speech by revealing that he was inspired to “embrace his truth” after the December 2014 suicide of Leelah Alcorn, the trans teen whose gender identity was rejected by her family.
“For a while I dismissed the fact that I hated my body. I pretended to be content with what I was assigned, until at a certain point I broke,” said Tom.
“I went through a series of horrible breakdowns… I knew I wasn’t happy, but it didn’t seem fair to me that everyone else around me was. They didn’t spend all their time thinking about how much they hated being categorised as a woman.”
He went on to say: “For some of you this may come as a shock. For others, you knew, or you thought you knew that I was transgender.
“I am no longer Mia. I never really was. And now I stand before you in my true and authentic gender identity. As Tom. I stand before you as a 13-year-old boy,” he announced.
The speech was received with a loud round of applause. Watch Tom speak his truth below.