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The editor of People.com shares in a new interview that she celebrates the boy she was born as, because he paved the way for her to become the woman she is now.
Janet Mock says she felt compelled to share her story about being transgender after seeing so many young people taking their own lives become the subject of news stories.
"It used to pain me to hear my birth name, a heartbreaking insult classroom bullies would shout to get a rise out of me," Mock told Marie Claire magazine. "But talking and writing about my experiences have helped me finally accept the past and celebrate the fact that I was once a big dreamer who happened to be born a boy named Charles."
Mock shared her story about feeling uncomfortable as a boy in elementary school, and high school, especially with a father who feared his son was gay. In college, Mock traveled to Thailand to have a gender reassignment surgery, and says she has been much happier ever since.
Mock also released a video message for LGBT youth, encouraging them to allow themselves to follow their dreams instead of letting bullies and disapproving family members wear them down.