In the summer of 2012, my mom and I went to the skating rink in our town.
The skaters were young and the ice was clear.
But we didn’t really have any mask to cover up our faces.
Our skates were our only options.
We dressed up as a girl.
We wore a mask and gloves and mask tape and mask wands.
We played dress up in the skating hallways of the rink, but our faces were still covered by masks.
And I was the one who was always in the back, wearing my mask, to hide my face from everyone.
For the next few years, I would dress up as either a girl or a boy.
It wasn’t until I got older that I was finally able to decide whether I wanted to continue skating or wear a face mask.
I didn’t want to be a boy anymore.
I was always so embarrassed to be the one wearing the mask.
In the winter, I started playing hockey again.
In high school, my hockey coach, Matt Kessel, told me that if I could just be a girl, I could skate and play hockey again without a mask.
And so, I began wearing a mask in high school.
I began dressing up as my favorite hockey player.
It was my identity.
I felt like I was a girl all the time.
But I was wrong.
I wore my mask to school.
In my sophomore year, I wore a helmet, gloves, mask, and face paint.
My friends and I called it the “tactical” mask.
As my friends started to notice that I wasn’t wearing a face cover anymore, they began calling me a boy, too.
I started wearing a girl’s mask, too, but it was always a mask with a mask tape or a mask wand, not a mask at all.
My parents were not happy.
My mother would go into the house and make me put the mask on, or put it on for me, and then leave.
My father would yell at me.
I couldn’t understand why.
My dad thought that wearing a “girl” mask meant I was trying to look like a boy and I should stop wearing a hat, tie, or shoes.
When I got to high school and became a senior, I decided that I didn.
I decided I was going to dress up and pretend that I had a boy’s mask on.
I dressed up like I used to in my high school days.
My school friends were always really supportive.
I had lots of friends.
I played hockey.
I hung out with my best friends, my sister, my best friend’s best friend.
And, I did all of this for fun.
And the next year, my friends and family started asking me why I was wearing a boy mask.
They told me they were embarrassed and that it was wrong, and that I should just wear a girl mask.
Then, I was shocked to see that they were saying the same thing about me again, this time telling me that I needed to stop wearing my boy’s helmet.
But it wasn’t just my parents who said it.
I heard the same old things.
I thought that I would get a ticket for wearing a helmet.
I even got a ticket at my school.
Even though I didn, I still went to my school and made it a point to wear a boy helmet.
It didn’t bother me one bit.
I mean, I knew that I looked like a girl with a girl helmet.
And my dad and my brother told me about my experience with the boys and girls.
My brother and I would always ask him what he thought of my boyhood.
He would say, “Oh, my god, it’s a boy!”
I would say the same to him when he told me he didn’t understand my experience.
I never understood.
I would ask him if he thought that my boy experience was different from his teenage experience.
He said, “Well, if it were the same, it would be.”
I was in shock.
I really thought that it had to be different.
But my dad had other ideas.
He wanted to be me.
He knew I wasn�t wearing a man�s helmet.
My mom and me started to worry.
My sisters were starting to realize that I still felt like a man.
I wanted them to know that I really wanted to look and act like a woman.
I got a little nervous at first.
I knew I would be wearing a woman�s mask all the rest of my life.
But then, I realized that I couldn�t tell them that I liked wearing a women�s shirt, and I was just not interested in having a boy�s boyhood, and my mom knew that.
We started to realize we were really stuck.
It hurt to wear it, and it hurt when I didn�t wear it anymore