Transgender - @thepaytonproject

“Transgender. A word that many associate with negativity and mental illness when it’s mentioned. For me, it’s quite the opposite. My name is Peyton and I am a 27 year old transgender male from Arkansas. Being trans has sculpted me into a better person mentally, physically, and emotionally. It has taught me to be more empathetic, understanding, patient and (above all) more loving. When you struggle against hate, you fight back with love. More deeply. More freely. More authentically. Not only loving others, but learning to love and appreciate yourself as you truly are. But sometimes, loving ourselves can be difficult. The highest attempted rate of suicides is by trans men at 50.8%, followed by 29.9% for trans women. The majority of these attempts are the result of how others have made us feel invalid, unloved, and unaccepted. I was almost a statistic. When it gets hard to love ourselves, we tend to depend on our allies for that support. You are not just holding out a hand, embracing us in a hug, using correct pronouns, or giving us a smile. You are saving lives. You make all the difference. This A.W.A.R.E transgender necklace doesn’t just symbolize trans pride and awareness. It symbolizes love, it symbolizes hope, and it symbolizes a progressive movement towards a more harmonious world for our community.” @thepaytonproject

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