A Reddit user named Natalie Zamani went on an incredible journey to find herself. From childhood, she felt like she didn’t belong in her body. Feeling confused and lost, she found other people like her in the world and realized that she is transgender.

Soon, after a lot of research, Natalie discovered that she could take hormones and finally feel like herself. She shared progress photos of her transition on Reddit and they are amazing! Natalie received a lot of love and support from other Reddit users. She shared her story with Bored Panda down below.

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Image credits: natalie.a.zamani

“I learned early on that feeling this way was something I had to completely hide, but my girly tendencies still came out in my personality here and there. That changed when I hit my early teen years and the start of puberty, however. I felt disgusted with the changes happening to my body and miserable that I had to endure them helplessly. This is around the time I first learned what it was to be transgender.”

Natalie before her transition

Image credits: natalie.a.zamani

“I did research and found that there were other people like me, who had chosen to do something about it. That it was possible to transition. But what I found in all but a few cases was that people who had transitioned lived difficult lives on the margins of society, unless they were lucky and strong enough to live in ‘stealth’ and had that privilege by virtue of being able to just blend in and hide. Going stealth, as I understood it, often meant people would leave behind their old lives and relationships and start a totally new life far away from them. That, being the best option at the time, sounded both incredibly lonely and difficult for me. And there were no guarantees that would even be attainable for me. So I made the impossible decision that I had to take this knowledge with me to the grave, and live as happy a life as I could without acknowledging who I really was.”

Image credits: natalie.a.zamani

“Anyways, fast forward to last year. I was 27, I had a great job in tech, a lovely relationship, and had built up confidence in my life. Life was good, but yet I was still not at home in my body. I realized I couldn’t outrun my identity and expect to live a full life. The acceptance of trans people had totally shifted during my lifetime, and I didn’t face life at the margins purely for being openly trans. I had to start living my life. I drove to Planned Parenthood a few days after that realization and started hormones.”

Image credits: natalie.a.zamani

“This journey has been the most difficult time of my life, hands down. But it’s also been the most wonderful period of growth. It wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing people I have in my life—family, friends, and my amazing partner have been my biggest source of support and embraced me so fully and wholly. Over the past 14 months, I’ve grown into the person I truly am and started to find an inner love that was never there before. I’ve only been out and presenting as me for a few months now, and didn’t start doing so until the pandemic had fully hit, so I’m very excited for what my life has in store once I can start experiencing all that life has to offer out in the world as the real me. I’m so happy I held out through all of the pain and difficulty for this moment.”

Natalie after her incredible transition

Image credits: natalie.a.zamani

We asked Natalie what people inspired her to go through this journey: “So many of the visible amazing trans women in media inspired me — and then meeting lovely people in real life who could also inspire me!”

Natalie shared that she loves music and collects vinyl. She’s slowly, but surely becoming a plant mother. Natalie enjoys creative writing, yoga, cycling, and the arts.

Image credits: natalie.a.zamani

She shared with us the first things she noticed when she started her transition: “It was really slow and for about 10 months I looked super awkward. But I noticed immediately feeling like things were right in my body, and that I was at least on the right course finally.” She also opened up that the hardest part of the transition was losing loved ones.

Image credits: natalie.a.zamani

“My partner Irene was and is incredibly loving and supportive. She was the first person I’ve ever told. My mother has always been behind me in my life, and for this, it was no different. And then my brother really showed up for me, and protected me when I needed it,” – said Natalie when asked who supported her the most during difficult times.

Image credits: natalie.a.zamani

Bored Panda asked Natalie if she receives hate and sadly, she answered that she does. “It doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m happy, my life is wonderful, and I really hope those people who hate me can find their own peace someday.”

Some more before and afters

Image credits: natalie.a.zamani

Natalie shared some wisdom for people who don’t feel like they belong in their bodies and are thinking of transitioning: “Transitioning is hard and unpleasant at times for most of us — but I promise you it gets better. If you don’t feel ready to do it yet — don’t force yourself. Start your transition when you feel ready and safe!”

Image credits: natalie.a.zamani

“If you’re interested in educating yourself, I recommend watching Disclosure (on Netflix) and reading resources from HRC and similar organizations. We’re hurting no one by trying to live our authenticity. If that bothers you, I recommend you take a look at yourself and ask why,” – said Natalie when asked what she had to say to the people who don’t understand or disslike transgender people.

Image credits: natalie.a.zamani

Go show some love to Natalie on her social media! Let’s celebrate her finally finding herself and discovering happiness.