the voice and vision of a new generation
Image credit: Owen Logios

A letter to my partner, who helped me celebrate my queerness

July 2, 2018

Dear LJ,

Thank you for taking a chance on me. 18 months ago, I couldn’t utter the word “transgender” without quivering. I spent all of high school dissecting the lives of trans guys online to find a piece of myself in their stories. I struggled to feel comfortable in my skin as a transmasculine person, and was afraid to admit this part of my identity to myself and others. But I came out during my second year of college, and for some reason, you were the first person I told after having only known you for two days. You were very open about exploring your own gender, which allowed me to open up about my experience with gender with another person.

To be honest, I was skeptical of hopping into a relationship while I still couldn’t understand who I was. Nonetheless, you fostered my growth, and I would not be as open about being queer and transmasculine if it wasn’t for you. I cannot be more grateful for your support from the start.

Thank you for guiding me through my hardest moments as a queer person. Coming out to my family and friends was a double-edged sword, where being myself was an inconvenience to others. It’s far too common when coming out to family for their guard to go up, for them to say, “We’ve known you your whole life, there’s no way you can be this way.” In fact, I’ve known myself the longest. I have the power to discover myself, with no one else influencing me. So when us trans people do discover ourselves and are proud to be queer, the loud proclamation of our gender identity can be seen as excessive or disruptive. But you, LJ, have done nothing but promote authenticity, and embraced being unapologetic and vocal no matter the circumstance.

GLAAD Campus Ambassadors, Owen Logios and Leah Juliett photographed by fellow ambassador, Aaron Giglio for the amp series 'College Sweethearts.' 

I have been able to overcome the various difficulties of being transgender, including body dysphoria and social isolation. Even though society may perceive me in a certain way because of my queer identity, the only person I have to please is myself. You helped me believe this, and have provided me with nothing but love and support to be myself, no matter who else is watching.

Your role as a changemaker in the LGBTQ+ community is nothing short of incredible, and has inspired me immensely. You have gone above and beyond to make sure that our voices are amplified, and that the queer community gets the recognition that it deserves. You’ve organized The March Against Revenge Porn and The National LGBTQ+ Youth Town Hall, cultivated change through various media outlets like Teen Vogue and CNN, and were most recently named one of Glamour magazine’s College Women of the Year for your work in social justice advocacy. You are unprecedented.

Being a Campus Ambassador with GLAAD has been such a rewarding experience. I’ve had the ability to connect with other LGBTQ+ activists across the country where we all work to amplify the voices of the queer community and cultivate acceptance everywhere. The best part about all of this is that I’ve had you by my side the whole time. Without you being an inaugural Campus Ambassador, and you pushing me to apply for the position, I would not have had the chance to advocate for change like I do today. I have been able to speak out against the Trump administration banning the word “transgender” from CDC reports through The Huffington Post. I have attended Pride marches all along the East Coast. I have assisted in research about the safety of transgender and gender non-conforming students on my campus. Throughout all of this, you have given nothing but respect and love for my work, no matter how big or small compared to yours. The difference we make together in the face of adversity inspires me to do more, and to be better.

Owen and LJ at the 2018 GLAAD Rising Stars Luncheon in Los Angeles. 

I never thought I was capable of loving another person while transitioning. I didn’t know how wrong I was until I met you.

Thank you for taking my hand with dignity and pride. Thank you for shouting our queer identities so loud that the world can hear us.

Thank you for introducing me to the impact I can make as an LGBTQ+ activist, and the impact we can make together.

Thank you for giving me a life I never thought I could live.

Thank you for loving me no matter what.

All my love,

Owen

Owen Logios is a GLAAD Campus Ambassador and rising senior at UCONN studying math and statistics. Owen has worked to support The National Equality March, New York City Heritage of Pride, GLAAD, The True Colors Organization, and The March Against Revenge Porn. Owen is currently an intern for the Tyler Clementi Foundation.

the voice and vision of a new generation