'Be your own kind of beautiful': Transgender woman speaks out about self-acceptance

Eva Echo from Stourbridge says a weight has been lifted off her shoulders since coming out as transgender. Now, she’s sharing her story to raise awareness and help others.

“One day, I decided it was finally time to be honest” – The start of Eva’s journey

My name’s Eva and I’m a trans woman. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d ever say, let alone be proud of. I’ve always known but years of denial and shame meant I hid from who I was. Unfortunately, the conflict between being who society expected me to be and who I was led to years of depression, self-harm, suicide attempts and even an eating disorder. One day, I decided it was finally time to be honest. I came out as the real me and have never looked back. I even started writing a blog to document my journey and to help others.

What has transitioning been like for you?

Transition isn’t an easy or overnight process. It’s a long and turbulent one, as you end the previous chapter of your life to begin another. The journey is a mental one as much as it is physical, so the decision to transition isn’t one to be taken lightly. For me personally, it was the greatest decision I’ve ever made. Sadly, some who come out will lose family or friends that may not approve but as awareness increases and the transgender community becomes more visible, views are starting to change with more and more people realising that it’s about hearts, not parts.

Where are you today?

Now that I’m established on my journey, I do all I can to help others and to campaign for change and equality. LGBTQ+ History Month is a chance to not only remember those who fought so that we can be ourselves today but to also build on that legacy so that future generations can have better access to treatment and equality.

What’s your advice to people who don’t have a strong support system?

The support I’ve personally received has been amazing. Far beyond what I expected. To those who may be scared to come out and transition, I want you to know that you’re not alone. There is support, even when you may not think it. I certainly wish younger me knew that.

Eva with her wife Pippa .

What do you want people to know about being transgender?

Whilst there are members of society who do consider us to be wrong or “freaks”, we’re not. Being transgender isn’t a mental illness. We’re just people too. Probably more scared of how you’ll treat us than how you think we’ll treat you. No matter who we are, we’re all valid. At the end of the day, nobody is perfect – not even Mother Nature. But that’s ok. It’s what makes us individual. Our own kind of beautiful.

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