After the tragic death of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn this past December, 13-year-old Tom Sosnik finally found the incentive he needed to reveal his true self to his fellow classmates. And in an effort to help those struggling with the same inner turmoil find the same strength, he posted his powerful coming out speech to YouTube.
"[Leah's death] made me want to act on a subject that has been bothering me for quite a long time," Sosnik says, standing in front of a class full of students. "All of sixth grade, I struggled with my gender identity and I am now embracing my truth. For a while, I dismissed the fact that I hated my body. I pretended to be content with what I was assigned until, at a certain point, I broke."
After detailing his breakdowns from the stress of hiding his true self from the world, Tom (previously known to his friends as "Mia"), confidently announced the secret he could no longer keep hidden.