Hope This Finds Me Well

Noah: Are the Answers Important?

Episode Notes

Good luck, future me. I hope you feel more certain: Noah, a high school senior in Illinois, is writing to organise his thoughts. Considering ideas of gender and where his identity might fit on the spectrum, Noah’s letter is full of questions for his future self. Now, as that slightly older person, Noah shares how the answers weren’t as important as the process of asking the questions in the first place. He talks about applying for colleges, disregarding labels, finding community online, and realizes that where he feels comfortable to express himself has slowly shifted since he wrote this letter. 

What do you want to ask your future self? Share your questions with us! Email hello@editaud.io to get in touch.

Thanks to Matt for creating FutureMe and collaborating with us on this show by helping letter-writers opt-in to be interviewed.

Links:

Episode Transcription

Noah Over time, I started caring less about like, specific labels, because those are hard. And just focusing more on like, what I want to do and how I want to present myself. Those are slightly easier questions. [theme music fades in]

Maria Passingham You're listening to Hope This Finds Me Well, a podcast about the past and future versions of ourselves and what we want to tell them. I'm Maria, and I'm joined by Steph and Sophie. 

Sophie Shin Hello!

Steph Colbourn Hello!

MP Each week, we chat to someone who previously wrote a letter to their future self. We want to know why they wrote the letter at the time and how they feel about it now. Is what they wrote about still important to them, do they see change or growth? So a lot of questions, which is kind of appropriate for today's letter. Our guest today, Noah was definitely in a place of questioning and figuring things out when he wrote to himself. We've seen throughout the season so far that a lot of people use Future Me to ask themselves things, not necessarily expecting to have all the answers when they get the letter back, but maybe just plant the seed or even just to find the words to express themselves. I think most of our guests so far have found receiving their letter kind of therapeutic, like it gave them the chance to reflect on how they've grown. What do you think?

SC I think a lot of people sort of got their letter back. And then in talking to us about it, they were sort of real time recognizing their growth or how things have changed, or not even how things have changed, but how they've changed or how their reaction to things has changed, or the perspective on whatever they were writing about has changed, which is really cool to see. 

MP So obviously, the letters, because they're coming back at some point in the future, and that some time has changed, it can mean that you have a totally different perspective on what you're writing about, or even just a slight shift in the perspective, but something new from your current place of life. And our guest today Noah, I don't think he had this exact kind of healing moment, when he got his letter back, he actually found it quite difficult to get through it and sort of got through it in bits and pieces, as you'll hear. But he could reflect on a few things that had progressed and change and realized a lot of what he's wondering about in his letter isn't necessarily that important to him right now.

SS Mhmm. Yeah. And I mean, y'all will hear the letter, but it sounded like Noah, I just kind of wanted a place to, like, get a plan out. And whether he stuck to that plan or not, it didn't really matter. He just kind of wanted to like, I think you said it before, like planting seeds.

SC And like organizing them. You know, like sometimes I think when you have a big thing happening in your life or something that you need to get out, it feels like one massive like ball of energy of overwhelmingness. But then when you start, you know, sort of writing it down, because you can't write as fast as your thoughts are going, it forces you to sort of like pick it apart and dissect it and organize your thoughts in a way that I think makes it seem less of one big ball and maybe like more things that you can tackle independently. 

MP Yes, absolutely.

SS Totally. 

SC What was nice about talking to Noah is it seemed like when we read the letter, it seems like he was using it as a way to organize his thoughts. But when we talked to him after he talks about it in a way that he had, like a different perspective on it now and it didn't carry the same weight, which is beautiful. But for him reading the letter was still hard, because it sort of I don't know, but I imagine it like reminded him of the place that he was in before. I mean, as you'll hear like he couldn't get through the letter as well. So we actually got someone else to read it for him. Should we listen to it? 

SS Yeah!

MP Yes.

VOICE ACTOR 

“Dear FutureMe,

Recently, I've become more and more sure I am trans. The thought that I may not be entirely a girl first crossed my mind when I was 12. Three years later, after several bouts of "just ignore gender and live as /you/" and "I guess I can identify as this without transitioning?", I've come to realize that I can't go my whole life living as female. I was talking with my brother recently, about that time mom bought me makeup and how I haven't used it and don't plan to in the future, and he mentioned that I'll need to eventually to be a professional in the workplace. I don't know how I never thought of that before, but I can't be that person. The thought of being in my 20's, dressed in feminine clothes and wearing makeup every single day in order to be seen as professional absolutely terrifies me. People often say they would kill themselves if put in a certain situation, and honestly, the thought of me being in that situation is so foreign that I refuse to believe it *could* happen, for me to kill myself in. I cannot be that person.

I don't know if I'm 100% male, but I do know I want to go by male pronouns, have a masculine name, face, have a flat chest, short hair, and a deeper voice. I am most certainly not a girl, despite being maybe not fully a guy. I don't know if I'll still feel this way in ~2 years, when this letter is being sent to, but I feel it now. I didn't feel this bad until very recently, and currently I'm not sure how long I'll be able to wait for all this.

As I'm writing this, I realize how much uncertainty there is in my mind. Am I fully male? Am I okay with all the changes of T? How will I deal with college applications, as if everything goes according to my current plan, I'll be writing apps while closeted but then going to school out? How will I manage insurance and informed consent and travel? What form of T do I want? Do I even want T to begin with? Is top surgery something I want? Bottom? Is this just a hopeless phase where I'm trying to find something to blame bad

feeling on? Am I trans? I hope by the time I receive this letter some (most?) of these doubts are gone. When I began writing this letter, I felt more certain about this all. Now, however many minutes later, I'm wondering again. I've thought about this all in bits and pieces, never really as a collective.

While this isn't entirely on the same page as the rest of this letter, I think it's unfair to write this without mentioning discord. I think I would have exploded if I didn't have somewhere where people see me as I wish to be seen, and call me what I want to be called. While I may not be the chattiest person on there, everyone is incredibly kind and supportive and exactly what I've needed these past few months (I joined in December at the latest- don't recall exactly when.). As much help as they've been, I hope they didn't somehow influence me into thinking I'm more trans than I really am. I don't think this is the case, as I obviously had to have had a certain amount of confidence in my identity to seek out a community like I did, but it's always a possibility. 2 years down the line, am I still on that discord, or am I accepting being female? At the moment, I don't know what I'm hoping for. Obviously being cis should be amazing, it's just such a foreign idea at the moment it doesn't feel possible.

I had planned on writing a plan explaining how I want to come out and begin transition in here, and really figure out all the details for the first time as this half formed idea first came to me only a day or two ago, but it's getting late. I'll be briefer than originally intended, but I still think this will be helpful. So:

1) Several months before my 18th birthday, come out to immediate family. Give them some time to let it sink in, then inform them of my plan to get T through informed consent at a clinic. Work with parents to get first name during this time.

2) Don't come out at school senior year. Tell close friends, but not teachers or attempt to make it official. Once I turn 18, go to the clinic and get on a low dose of T. After a few months, nearing or immediately after the end of the school year, go on a normal dose. Hopefully, I should appear at least androgynous before college. Come out to extended family during this time, and I guess everyone, really.

3) I suppose start out in a co-ed or girls dorm at college. Work to get legal name and gender changed over the next few years. Top surgery, should I choose to get it, is probably best if done over summer break. Due to money (broke college kids are a stereotype for a reason!) this may have to be delayed until after college. Hopefully, by the time I leave college, I will be legally and appear outwardly male.

I finish writing this all, not entirely certain this is the path I want to take in life. The idea of living as a female professional is still repulsive to me, but who knows? People learn and change. I had hoped that this letter would answer more questions than it raised, but that didn't exactly happen. Still, I've got time. I'm only 15. First (only?) puberty has done it's worst, now the only reason I would like to time things well is for ease of social transition, and the best way I can see is a few years off. I hope by the time I get this letter I know myself better. The idea of coming out in only 2 and a half years is more than a bit terrifying, but I'll figure it out. I think I should send this letter around the end of junior year- give myself a few months to reflect on whether or not I'll follow this plan, and then possibly execute it. Good luck, future me, if this is the path you take. I hope you feel more certain.

With love,

_____”

HOSTS

So let’s have our guest introduce himself!

ALT TAKE: So let’s get to our interview with Noah. He’s 18, from the suburbs of Chicago, and currently applying to colleges. Roll the tape!

PART 2

INTERVIEW 

Noah

I’m Noah. I’m 18, and I’m from… the suburbs of Chicago, I guess.

SS  

So all of us have read your letter. I don't know if you've read it recently or kind of have it fresh of mind or...

Noah  

I tried to read it the other day. Whenever I read it, I like skip around a bunch. I don't know I, I'm not good at just like reading it through.

SS  

That's so fair.

Noah  

But I know generally what it's about.

SC  

I do want to know if you remember writing this letter, or if you remember where you were?

Noah  

I think I do remember it. I think I was writing part of it, like, sitting in my kitchen, for some reason. I don't know, I don't spend a lot of time in the kitchen when I'm not eating. But I wrote this letter there. I wrote a lot more when I was younger. I haven't written one in a while, but I wrote a couple when I was like, 14 through 16 ish, I think

SC  

Oh, cool. So this wasn't your first letter? 

Noah  

No, it wasn't. This was the biggest letter probably. Both in size and content. But it wasn't the only one. Some of them were dumb. I remember one time, I was in like sixth grade, and I was just really upset because my friends weren't helping me with a homework assignment. I just wrote a letter complaining about my friends not helping me.

MP  

I love that though, that that's such a healthy way to get your frustration without like, being nasty to your friends.

Noah  

Yeah. And then I get it like a few years later, it's like this is... yeah a really dumb situation that had absolutely no effect on my life.

SS  

Wait, so you've been using feature me since grade six?

Noah  

I think it was sixth grade? I'm not 100% certain.

MP  

Do you think you used it to kind of - apart from when you were just angry at your friends - to kind of I don't know, was it like a journaling thing? Or was it just a way to like, express yourself?

Noah  

I definitely think I used it as sort of a journal like, especially this letter. I was like, I mean, the title of letter is “thinking things over”. I was kind of like sorting out my thoughts by writing them down.

SS  

How did it feel to get it? Those few years later?

Noah  

I immediately remembered what it was, like the first sentence or two was like, ‘oh, I remember writing this’. I don't think I actually read it right away. Like, I think once I realised what it was, I closed out of Gmail... I don't respond well to reading things that stress me out. And this email was one of them. So I like read it in bits and pieces. I got through it eventually.

SS  

I feel like there's a lot of questions in the letter.

Noah

There are.

SS

When you received it do you feel like some of those questions were answered? Or did it make you kind of like... because to me, it's kind of like you're writing like a list of questions, maybe in the hopes, like when you receive it, you'd have those answers so...

Noah  

So yeah, I'm incredibly uncertain in this letter, there's a paragraph that is entirely questions!

TIM as Noah [clip]

How will I manage insurance and informed consent and travel? What form of T do I want? Do I even want T to begin with? Is top surgery something I want? Bottom? Am I trans? I hope by the time I receive this letter some (most?) of these doubts are gone.

Noah

And I don't know that I have the answers to all of those questions now. But I think generally, I am more certain in who I am now than I was then. Am I trans? Yes, that one I can answer. And some of the questions I've just like, decided, like, I don't care about the answer to that right now. Like I talked about, like, right surgeries and stuff. And like, that's far in my future, I don't need to worry about that at the moment. I can deal with it in time. So even if I don't have the answer to all of these questions, now, they don't bother me as much as they did, then.

SC 

That's so beautiful.

Noah

I had been so uncertain about everything for so long. Like, I think I mentioned, I started thinking about things when I was like, 12. It was when I was like, being like, slightly more certain. And that brought up more questions, if that makes sense. So it was like an in-between period.

SC

What do you think made you feel like I - and I don't want to put words in your mouth - so I don't know.... but you just said so confidently, like, am I trans? Yes, I can answer that. Do you think that like your idea of what trans can be has changed? Or do you think that you just are more comfortable self identifying?

Noah  

I think maybe both things like, I'm definitely more confident about how I identify now than I was then.

SC  

Why do you think that is?

Noah  

I think just like time just like, time spent thinking about it. Like after a certain point. If you spend however many years thinking about something and you don't change your mind it alleviates the concern of it like being a phase or whatever.

SC 

I do want to just like acknowledge that, that people go their entire lives without maybe not not being sure, but without like, admitting it and being able to like, as competently as you just did there like, identify. So I think you should, you know, also give yourself a pat on the back or something else like, feel like strength in yourself for that.

Noah  

Thank you. Over time, I started caring less about like, specific labels, because those are hard. And just focusing more on like, what I want to do and how I want to present myself. Those are slightly easier questions.

SC  

I think we like as humans like to organise people into like tiny little boxes, but none of us actually fit in any of the boxes, or some people do maybe, but I don't know those people think, you know, the third, it's nice to have labels so that you can sort of like, try out box one and box two and figure out that your box 1.75 or something, but like-

Noah  

I’m kinda just like this is close enough, this is fine now. At the time I wrote this, I cared a lot about it being like exactly in a box. And now I'm just like, you know what, I'm just gonna exist and pick something that's close enough.

[music]

I think I mentioned it in here. I joined a Discord server.

SS  

Yeah, I wanted to ask you about that.

Noah  

Yeah, I'm still in that Discord server. I talked with those people pretty much every day like that. I just consider them friends now. That was very helpful to me. I'm not sure what I would have done without them.

SS  

Can we get a little background on Discord itself? And like, what it is? I kind of know what it is. But I feel like maybe the general public who aren't super into video games might not know what it is!

Noah  

Yeah. It's like a, I guess, chat website where you can… Like, there's text channels and like, talk to each other, or voice… and obviously, speak.

MP 

Oh, I didn't know that.

Noah  

Yeah. So you can make a bunch of different channels for like different topics. And it was meant for video games originally, I think. But people started using it for other things over time. So I'm in one about gender. And yeah, it was helpful to me, it was like, I could talk about things that I was thinking about without going to people I knew in real life, which removes a lot of like, the stress and pressure of like getting things right. 

SC

Which is like so ridiculous that we expect people to just say things and have that be like final or have that be like, right, but I'm glad you had that space. 

When you wrote this letter. Did you, had you like seeked out this Discord? Or did it just like fall in your lap? Like, how did that come about?

Noah  

Um, I think I saw people on Reddit talking about Discord a lot. And I was like, I'm not entirely sure what this is. But I'm curious, I’ll join this one and see what happens. There's ones for like advice, specifically, or questioning gender anything. There's a bunch that are just like, show off a picture you've drawn or if you just read it a room in your house, and you think it looks nice.

So like there's a, there's a mix between support type things, and just like things that you would want to show your friends, which I think is really nice. Because you get to know the people more than just one part of them.

SC 

Yeah. And it sounds like you're getting the representation that we should just have in our everyday lives, of like trans people existing, which is great. I'm glad you have that. I hope that more young people have that.

MP  

Have you ever met anyone from it? Is that something people do in real life?

Noah  

It is a thing that people do. I think a few of them got together once a year or two ago, but I have not met any of them in person.

MP  

Would you ever want to Or do you like having it as like an online community?

Noah  

I mean, I like having it as an online community. But I think if like the opportunity came up, I would be willing to meet with some of them and I think it would be a good time. 

[music?]

SS  

You say in your letter that when you're on Discord, you moreso read and you don't really like participate that much? Or you don't like say too many things? Has like the way you interact... Has that changed over time?

TIM as Noah [clip]

While I may not be the chattiest person on there, everyone is incredibly kind and supportive...

Noah  

Yeah. I've definitely started saying things more. I've gotten a lot more comfortable with the people there. Like I said, like I consider them friends now basically. So I talk with them! 

There's a couple people my age. There's a few people a little younger, like around the age that I was when I joined it and then there's some people in like their 30s. And then obviously ages in between there. And so it's interesting, like I like being able to see like, h, these people have like a spouse and kids, and they're happy. And like, that's a thing that can happen. That's one of the best things about it, I think.

[music?]

SC  

So at this time, you had all these questions about your identity, and also what you were doing for school and all this stuff. Give us a snapshot of your life right now. 

Noah  

Ok, so I'm applying to colleges. That deadline is coming up soon. I have like five essays I need to write. 

SC

Casual.

SS

Oh my God.

Noah  

It's fine! I am applying to like college and everything under like, my legal name and everything, which I said in here that I probably would do. And that's like the only part of this plan that I wrote out for myself that I've actually followed.

SC  

What are you applying to school for?

Noah  

I'm applying to be a political science major. And then I think I want to be a lawyer after that.

MP

Wow!

SS  

I know in the letter, within your plan is kind of like having your parents along the way involved in the plan. We don't have to talk about it. If that's like a subject you don't want to talk about. But have you involved your parents in your kind of journey through all this?

Noah  

So that's kind of a strange question. It shouldn't be. But I said like, I wanted to tell them a few months for my 18th birthday. That didn't happen. I think writing it, I knew it wouldn't happen. I don't know how to explain this…. By writing it and giving it a time. Even if I knew I wouldn't meet that time. It's like incentive to get close ish to that time that I say yeah, ‘cause like, I do want to go to college, going by Noah and stuff, which is like a deadline. I do have to tell them at some point!

My parents sort of know... they found like the chest binder that I bought. So they had like, a conversation with me. And I panicked and like, denied everything. I'm like, I don't know what you're talking about. So they know, this is something I've been thinking about. So like, I don't think they'd be surprised or anything, like they kind of know. But it's not something I've like explicitly told them.

SC  

But you feel like you want to explicitly tell them one day? 

Noah  

Yeah, hopefully soon. I think like part of writing this letter, the point was to plant the idea in my mind, like, ‘hey, this is something you should do soon’, even if I wasn't going to exactly follow what I wrote out, which I didn't expect to.

MP  

That's interesting. I think that you said like that. You didn't expect to follow it. 

Noah  

Yeah! So in the letter, I sign it with a different name. And after a while of going by that name, really just on Discord. I realised that my dad's cousin had that same name. And they're like the type of family member that you see just often enough that I can't just like, steal their name. So that's why I like relegated it to that like middle name, slot. It like I put a dash there. And so then I just like, it looked at like baby name websites and stuff. And I was like, this is a decent name. I like this name. And I started going by Noah. So I feel like I want to give my parents like veto power, like if they hate the name, Noah, I’ll let them say that. But I think like, I don't know, I’ve been going by this name for a few years now. I'd be weird to change it again.

SC  

I'm sure that they'll love it.

SS  

Noah, I've always loved the name Noah. And I'm not just saying that. 

Noah

Thank you.

SC  

I also feel like they'll love it because it's your name. You know, they'll see that you are like living authentically in it. And they love you. 

SS  

Yeah. 

[music?]

If you could write a letter to yourself in the future right now. What do you think are some things you would say to yourself?

Noah  

I don't really know. It's a good question. I mean, the biggest thing in my life at the moment is applying to colleges. I guess that might be the topic just like ‘where did you end up going? Was it one of those super expensive DC schools or the one closer to home that I still like a lot?’ Like I said, I haven't written a letter in a while. I think I haven't, like needed to as much.

SS  

Yeah, I was gonna ask that, it kind of feels like you're like, you're figuring things out. - you don't really need to do brain dump in a letter right now.

Noah  

Mmm hmm. I think part of that is probably the Discord. Like I said, I only found it a few months before writing this letter. And that was one of the last letters I wrote to myself. I guess I didn't notice that. But I probably did like switch over to mostly talking to those guys. It's like, the nice thing about Discord is that it's not like texting a friend and that there's like, an expectation that they will reply. You can just kind of like shout into the void, and then someone might answer, which I like, because I don't like putting the pressure on people to respond to me. So I think that's like, kind of why I wrote these letters for a lot…. I mean, this one was obviously like, more private, and I wouldn't have talked to a friend about it anyway. But like, the smaller things that I used to write letters about.

MP  

I wondered, you just touched on it there, like how, I mean, this letter is so personal, and, and private, and you know, you're sending it to yourself, ultimately. But you also chose to make it a public letter on the website. Do you remember thinking about that? 

Noah  

No, I don't. I think at the time, I was like, well, it's anonymous. No one's gonna know who I am. I think I changed it to private at some point. Like, I think when I got it, I looked at it and like, why is this public? Why did I do that? And I changed. That actually happened with a lot of letters like I went through, and I made most of them private.

SC  

I think it's nice that it's public, like in the same way that like, you go to discord to look for things, I'm sure there are people that have probably read this letter and related to all of the questions or some of them or, you know, just like the overall feeling of it, and I think that's pretty cool.

Noah

I'm nodding! Yeah, that's a good point.

SC

At the end of the letter, you say ‘the idea of coming out in only two and a half years is more than a bit terrifying, but I'll figure it out’. Do you feel like it's any less terrifying now? Or you feel like it's more terrifying? How do you feel?

Noah  

It's somewhat less terrifying.  I don't know. It's weird, because like, I know, my family would be fine with it. My brother is gay and like, they don't care. It's just like, I don't know. It's something I've kept to myself for a really long time, which is stressful. But I don't know. It's become not terrifying enough to tell a few of my friends. So.

SS

Oh yay! That’s great.

SC

Yeah. And so you do have some friends where you are now that -

Noah

Yeah, there's three people I know like in person. But um, it's kind of weird. So two of them are like my friends, like I just told them because they're my friends. But then one of them was my brother's best friend from high school. Who is also trans and he joined the Discord server. And I was like, this looks a lot like [bleep] and I saw that he lived in Germany, because he like moved there for college. And I was like, huh, that can't be a coincidence. And then I felt weird about, like, knowing who he was, but not him knowing who I was. And so then I like sent him a message like, hey… just so you know.

SS

Oh my god. 

MP

Oh, that's so cool.

SC

That's so cool. What the heck are the odds of that?!

Noah

Yeah no it was really weird, but, kind of fun.

SS  

Noah, I thank you so much for like taking the time. I know you're super busy. So we really, really appreciate it.

Noah  

Thank you for having me.

[music]

MP Well, uh, Noah is great.

SS So cool.

SC Yes!

MP Can we please just talk about the moment when he realized like, during the conversation that Discord had taken over from his letter writing, like it was just this new place to express himself, I felt like we all had this aha moment.

SC I loved that moment. 

SS And the more I hear about Discord, the cooler it seems to me, like I don't use it that often. I've used it like a couple times to play games with friends, but I think it's such a good place for people to go when they feel like they don't have physical safe spaces to go to. Because I feel like more and more we're becoming a society that brings our safe spaces online.

MP Especially now. 

SS Yeah, especially now. I just feel like a lot of social media can be very toxic and exhausting and not safe for a lot of people. So the fact that Noah found that in a Discord channel is so cool, and I love it. But also the fact that he said, there's a lot of different generations of people in that Discord channel is so cool. Those are like resources that people growing up a few years ago would never have had. 

SC And I remember like being younger and going on forums, basically, or blogs so that you can have chat rooms with people. And I just think Discord is so cool, because it's so much more developed. Like you can have video and like, you can talk to each other like with your voice. And I just think it's so cool. And so much more intimate. 

SS Yeah. And also you can participate when and how you want, you know, which is it seems like how Noah did it. It's like when he felt comfortable to like, start posting more, that's when he did it.

SC I mean, what do you think is really cool is that like, Noah, you know, in the letter, he's obviously thinking about gender still as like a binary. You know, I'm either the person who wears makeup to work and is a woman or I'm a guy who has to look this certain way. What was cool for me to see was that when we talked to him, he didn't think like that anymore. Like, he felt more like, oh, there's sort of like a spectrum. And then I can be more of who I am. I don't have to fit in box A or box B.

SS Yeah, I love that. 

SC It's something I learned in my like, late 20s. And I like studied critical theory, queer critical theory, and like gender theory and shit. It's just like, not talked about, and you don't see, you know, even like our trans representation in like cinema and stuff. It's like, it's only acceptable if the person who is trans looks looks like air quotes, like a woman, like our perception of what a woman is, and looks like our perception of what a man is. And every person doesn't have to look like Person A or Person B, you know? And, yeah, I don't think people realize that.

SS Yeah, I'm hoping with a Gen Z-ers out there it is something that's becoming more normal, quote, unquote, "normal" to live outside of that binary and be whoever you want to be.

MP Speaking of being who you want to be, and truly yourself, we have a little update from Noah, you want to hear it?

SC Ohhhh!

SS So exciting! I'm really excited.

SC Yes, obviously!

Noah So it's been a little under two months, since we had our interview, kind of what's happened in that time, I'm still waiting on a bunch of colleges. So I don't know where, well, not a bunch, I applied to six, I've heard from three, the other three are going to let me know, around the start of April. So just endless waiting. That's fun. I got all of the essays I needed to done. I think I had a ton at the time of recording. And then I guess bigger stuff. So in like mid January, I told myself that I would tell my friends by Valentine's Day. I needed to put some sort of pressure on myself. And picking a day that's not just like a random day of the week, like, there's no difference in February 12 and February 13. But the 14th is Valentine's Day, so you can't like push it off. Because that's like a day that people recognize. I don't know if that makes sense. But that's what I did. So then, it ended up being February 13 at 11:56pm. I posted a little thing on my private Instagram story, just like I wanted to let you guys know this. There wasn't that many people, maybe six people, something like that. And then the, it was incredibly soon after the interview might have even been like later that same day. Might have been a day or two after, my best friend who is one of the people I told previously told me that she was trans. Like, I didn't realize like, how nice it would be to be able to talk about stuff like that with someone in person that like I really know. Obviously, Discord helped me a ton. I spent the entire interview talking about that. But it's different when it's like your actual best friend, like someone that you know super well, can talk with, like in person that just over text and I don't know, it's different. It's been good. Like eight days after me, it wasn't that long. She told most of our mutual friends. So we're joking that like the gender balance of our friend group was restored because it's three guys and three girls. Back to that, was disrupted for a few days. All of our friends have been good about it. Things were a little weird. One of the people in there kind of stopped talking as much, but he started to start talking a little more again. I had absolutely no reason to put it off as long as I did. So I'm glad to have it over and stop stressing about that. I'm feeling like I don't know generally hopeful about the future. Telling my parents feels more possible now, if that makes sense. Before was always one of those things was like, this is the thing I guess I have to do someday but now it's like, okay, I can actually picture myself doing that. So I'm going to try and do that. I don't know, sometime before the end of the school year. But yeah, that's about it. I think things are pretty good right now. I'm feeling hopeful. That's all I guess.

MP Yay!

SS Oh my god.

SC Aw, that's so nice. 

MP Such a good update.

SS Oh, my God. That's so exciting. And I'm, I don't know, it's weird to say that I'm proud of Noah. But I feel super proud of him that he's like, slowly, at his own pace, kind of telling the people he wants to tell and finding community outside of Discord.

MP Yeah. And in his best friend. 

SS Yeah. And that like he has someone to kind of confide in and, and someone who's close to mim, who seems to be maybe going through some similar stuff. So yeah, I just couldn't be happier for him.

SC Go Noah! Good luck getting into school!

SS Yeah. Sorry that it's still a waiting game. 

SC Yeah, sorry for making you talk to us while you were slammed with essays. [theme music fades in]

MP Noah, thank you so much for talking to us. These personal and complex topics are so important. So we really appreciate you sharing your experience and perspective with us. A big thank you also to Tim Briggs, who read Noah's letter for us so beautifully. This podcast is an editaudio original production, hosted and produced by Maria Passingham, Steph Colbourn and Sophie Shin, with help from our amazing team at editaudio. Thank you. The music is from Audio Network. And thanks to Matt for creating Future Me and collaborating with us on this show by getting us in touch with the letter writers. You can visit future me.org to write your own letter. And if you want to share a story of writing to yourself, email us at hello@editaud.io. We'd love to hear from you. Catch you next week for our season finale.