Transgender girl builds up courage and comes out on Facebook

In the lead up to Spirit Day, we're highlighting stories of people who have used Facebook and Instagram to come out, find support and inspire change around LGBT equality. 

Mey Rude is a transgender woman. She proudly came out in October 2012 and has never felt happier. Mey's whole life, she never felt like "one of the guys" and always felt uncomfortable being treated like she was a boy. Mey lived most of her life bein perceived as a boy and not knowing what it meant to be transgender. When Mey was in high school and college, she started to learn about what it means to be a transgender person, and realized that she had always been transgender. She felt that coming out might be the key to her happiness. Learning about the trans community, Mey learned that she wasn’t alone in this world and that there were more people out there like her.

On Halloween in 2012, Mey built up the courage to tell everyone who she really was. This was a really big step for her because not only did she come out to herself and closest confidants, but she came out on social media as well to let the world know her identity.

"By coming out on Facebook and changing my name and picture there, I was able to make sure that people see me the way I want them to,” said Mey. And they did. Mey received so many positive comments from her family and her friends. She was overwhelmed and excited to have made that huge step in her life, and to be accepted by the ones who mattered most to her.

Explaining why she chose to come out through Facebook, Mey said, “I also wanted to make sure that I had a way to make the moment permanent. I don’t want my history or my story to be erased, and making a status update was a great way to do that. My declaration of who I really was there for everyone on the internet to see and whenever I want to, I can go back and look at it.”

When the following Halloween came around, Mey dressed up as Lumpy Space princess from Adventure Time. She went to a party and all the girls were taking a group picture together. When they asked her to join, she never felt more accepted in her life and gained a lot of confidence.

Mey definitely had some rough days and hard times, but she has never regretted her choice of coming out and being herself. When she was in high school and college, there would be days where she wouldn’t talk to anyone because she felt like she couldn’t. Now in her life, she feels free and open and has people there for her who she can reach out and talk to. Since Mey has come out as her authentic self, she's made a lot of new friends and has new opportunities, like going to New York and speaking at the Barnard Center for Research on Women. She also worked at an LGBT women's summer camp in California and had the pleasure of meeting people like leading trans advocates Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, and many people associated with Autostraddle, a media outlet for LGBT women, for which Mey is now a contributing editor.

Facebook will join GLAAD and millions of others who will go purple on October 16th to take a stand against bullying for Spirit Day. Go purple now at http://glaad.org/spiritday