58 - Charlie Remacle
Non-binary Trans Man ( he/him )
Married to Kaitlynn Remacle
Works and advocates in healthcare. Married high school sweetheart. Loves movies. Deaf in one ear. Has one fur baby.
With the infinite possibilities of gender identity and expression, when did you know….
“Definitely when I was younger, I knew I was different... I always felt like I was adopted because none of my traits were similar to my parents or the activities that I did were not similar. I just knew I was different and thought differently, but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was…”
On their coming out experience…
“I came out in high school as a lesbian, like pretty much everyone does. I remember mentioning something to my mom in the car, along the lines of going on a date with a girl but I pushed it aside and never mentioned it again. When I turned 18, if people asked me if I had a boyfriend I would come out to them that way. I came out to my mom again, I was eating chicken wings or something and I pretty much said ‘I’m not straight’. She was just like ‘Ok... that’s fine.’
Friends-wise, everyone pretty much took it okay. I did have slight problems in the church. I was really active in Catholicism and some of my friends were reactive in the Christian way of ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’. As the years have gone by some of them have apologized for the way they treated me.
Within the last 2 years or so, I came out as trans. My friend had top surgery and that triggered everything… that there was something else missing from me. It kind of happened fast after that, once the thought was in my head, I transitioned pretty quickly. Not everyone transitions this fast, I was lucky and had all the access and resources I needed to medically transition.”
Frustrations within the LGBTQ+ community?
“I definitely see a lot with the trans and non-binary side of things... the LGBT people forget about the ‘T’ and how much we go through. I had a coworker that identified as a lesbian and when the whole Trump thing came out as far as him ‘erasing’ us, she kind of pushed it off to the side like it’s not a big deal. I was like, ‘You don’t understand... these are my rights, as a person…’ It’s different as a lesbian because you have more protections, but trans and non-binary are ‘unknown’ and no one seems to know how to navigate it… it feels like we get pushed off to the side like we can handle it by ourselves. It’s frustrating to not see more allies (the non-straight allies).”
Favorite part about the community?
“I like all the rainbows and glitter. I love the happiness. One thing I love about the non-binary and trans community… this is what we want, this is who we want to be. I know a lot of my friends have said that before I transitioned, the difference in my emotions and habits have changed for the better. Just seeing the transformation of where someone was before they come out and after they come out. I like having other people come to me and ask me how do I approach it? ...how do I do this? Sometimes I feel like I don’t give the best advice but I like that people can turn to each other.”
What is something you would tell a younger you?
“We always wrote letters to ourselves when we were younger in school. I know I got one after I graduated high school. I would say, explore more, expand your knowledge… it’s ok to keep going. I know there were many times I wanted to give up. Don’t let it define you, these different traits or ‘weirdness’... that doesn’t define you, stop you, or keep you down… keep thinking outside the box!”
Advice for anyone out there who feels like they can’t come out, or they don’t have a community to be a part of?
“I know when I talk to younger kids on Instagram asking what they should do... I always say, find people who identify with you. Find your support, your allies. Even if the family isn’t supportive, it’s important to have friends or supportive people, your chosen family... Don’t let anything else bother you because it comes down to what you want and how you feel. If safety is an issue, you can do little things here or there to ease that, like keeping extra clothes in your car or locker.”
Someone once told me never ask a trans person their dead name. What’s your opinion on that?
“I’ve heard that too, and I have mixed feelings about it. I’ve had people straight up ask me. I don't get caught off guard because I’m talking about it... but at the same time I’m hesitant to tell them because in the back of my mind I don’t want them to see me as that old name and think ‘they had this girl name so they’re still a girl’. So I’m always hesitant to tell people my dead name. I think it depends on the person and the relationship you have with them. If it causes them stress or dysphoria, then don’t ask. But me personally, if I am about it already (like when I changed my legal name) and they ask, I can’t get mad because I’ve opened up the conversation. But to flat out ask, don't do it. You don’t know what discomfort may or may not trigger in them.”
What in your life are you most proud of?
“I’m really proud of the fact that I have a lot of compassion for people. I work in healthcare so I have interacted with every background and race. The last three years, I have always seen people in their worst states. I’ve been in my worst states, so I know the feeling all too well. So I’m proud of the fact that I can identify people's feelings when they're not their best, and it’s not because they’re trying to be mean or a jerk, it’s because they’re going through a bad time or don’t feel good.
And, I wouldn’t say I’m proud of myself for coming out or anything, because I knew I was going to be okay. But more of the fact that compassion has carried me this far... and it's a big thing that keeps me going; that I can be compassionate and show people compassion. Everyone deserve that in their hardest days.”
With the state of the nation and the world in its current state, what’s one thing you would change if you had the power?
“I think if I had to change one thing, we would just get rid of coming out all together. We would just be normal, just like a black person or hispanic person... Why can’t we be like that? We don’t have to give pamphlets out for people like that, so why do we have pamphlets to give for who we like or how we feel. Make America what it is, and that’s diversity... We shouldn’t have to ‘come out’ or have HR tell your coworkers that this is how you act and use these are the proper pronouns and name…”