Junior Patrick Reynolds

Reynold shares his journey of discovering his true self.

Jennavieve Carmony

High school is hard for anyone, but school can bring about special challenges for LGBTQ students. Junior Patrick Reynolds, a transgender man, has been out publicly since eighth grade.

“When I was in seventh grade, I learned about the trans community,” Reynolds said. “I came out as trans to my parents after surgery high on anesthesia.”

Reynolds’ parents have been supportive all along his journey, including personal advocacy for the trans community.

“There’s a lot of internalized and externalized transphobia and homophobia within the LGBT community,” Reynolds said. “My mom has been a real advocate for me. She talked to the administration so I could use the name that I wanted, she got it changed in PowerSchool before it was legally changed.”

Although Reynolds has gotten support from his family, his transition has not been without challenges in school.

“In eighth grade when I came out publicly to the whole school, I was bullied pretty badly,” Reynolds said. “In high school, it is different. If people don’t like me, they stay away from me, and I feel like that is an improvement.”

For those who are questioning their gender or sexuality, not everyone can find a label that explains how they feel. Reynolds understands this and offers some advice.

“It takes a lot of time to figure yourself out,” Reynolds said. “As long as you’re on the journey, you are making progress, it’s okay to feel the way that you’re feeling. It’s hard to put a label on yourself and you don’t have to do that. I understand the want to do that, but there’s really no need. You’re allowed to be who you want to be.”

This openness to people is apparent to many around him, including senior Alexis Chestnut.

“He’s easy to talk to, I got comfortable with him really quickly,” Chestnut said. “He’s really friendly, super funny and really fun to hang around. He’s someone that you can easily trust. He’s accountable for himself.”

Outside of the LGBTQ community, Reynolds is an active member of GSA, Creative Writing club, Crochet club and Nintendo club.

“We had a Super Smash Bros tournament on the 13th, which was pretty cool. On my own Switch, I love to play Mario Kart.”

During school, Reynolds is taking a class called History of the Holocaust taught by Tim Baldwin.

Baldwin enjoys having Reynolds in class and believes he’s an asset to the classroom.

“He’s kind, polite and funny,” Baldwin said. “He’s an awesome student. His best assets are that he’s genuinely curious and loves learning for his own sake.”