Miles McKenna Looks Back On Discovering His Most Authentic Self In This Inspiring Self-Written Essay

Miles McKenna Looks Back On Discovering His Most Authentic Self In This Inspiring Self-Written Essay
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My big, closeted, queer, trans, teenage past would not believe what you are about to read!

It’s funny how one day we woke up on a rock floating in space and just accepted everything we were told. From what things are, to where they belong, some of us even hold these truths so close that we alter ourselves to fit the part we think we are supposed to play. One day I woke up and decided I wanted out!

I’m Miles. Words that can define me are queer, transgender, male, rad, your fairy godbrother, an MCR stan, YouTuber, and most recently…an author!

Everyone has intersecting identities and labels that define who they are. The unfortunate thing with the LGBTQ+ community is how those words are given to us, if they are ever given at all. Growing up with a pink bow on my head, in a world that is dominated by a heterosexual, cisgender point of view, I was given a lot of labels that didn’t feel right. I was told I was a girl who had to act how “girls act” and could only crush on (you guessed it) boys. I didn’t realize I was different at first, since there was no representation around me of people being any other way. Surely, I wasn’t the only one who cried when they had to wear a dress for picture day, begged for “SpongeBob” boxer briefs, and had to ask for permission to use the scissors so they wouldn’t try to cut all their long hair off in the bathroom (again), right?

Eventually, I was exposed to people who looked on the outside how I felt, but still couldn’t define on the inside, but I was always surrounded by negativity from family members and strangers. And no one, especially a kid that feels out of place already, wants to be the center of negative attention. So I called my “otherness” by other names like tomboy and sporty. I shoved my long hair in beanies when I walked out the front door and tried to be who I thought I was supposed to be.

This whole life thing seems so simple from where I’m standing now. Being who you are and saying what you truly mean are the biggest deterrent to people who don’t or won’t understand. But it is also the biggest invitation to everyone who thinks or feels the same! That community was what I found in the YouTube comment sections of LGBT icons and online friends I met on the gayest reaches of the internet I could find (like Tumblr!) and that eventually led me to make one of the most powerful decisions in my closeted, queer life…dyeing my leg hair purple. Yup. I dyed my luscious leg locks purple and talked alone in my bedroom to a camera about gender roles, expression, and the weird need that we all have to “do what everyone else does.” I didn’t realize that after I uploaded that video to YouTube it would find millions of other kids who felt the same way — people who I didn’t see in my hometown but I knew were out there!

I don’t know if you’ve had a “leg hair moment” too, an honest conversation or action that isn’t rooted in others’ reactions. I believe that vulnerability and support is what gave me the push to finally cut off all my hair and find the words that truly honor me.

No matter what identities intersect to create you, you are not alone! There is no “right” way to life but the way that feels the most right to you! My big, queer, trans journey can be explored even more in my new book “OUT!”. It’s filled with stories from my life along with safe spaces and resources I wish I knew about when I was in the depths of self-discovery.

Everyone is on their own journey! No matter where you are in yours, just remember you are the author of it. I hope you’re having fun on this big rock floating in space, I know I am!