It has been over a year since students around the United States went into quarantine on March 13 2020 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. During quarantine everyone had an abundance of time to reflect and learn about themselves. Over the course of the year, many students have unlocked major parts of their personality and identity.
MCHS senior Grey Siminak discovered a particularly large part of his identity during this break — specifically, his gender identity.
“I’ve tried a lot of different labels and pronouns, but where I am in my journey now, I usually just say I’m a trans-masculine person,” states Siminak “There’s been a lot of inner turmoil in the years of discovering myself.”
Many students have been changing up their styles as well. Social media has proven to be a big influence on everyone’s boundaries of fashion.
“I think the hardest part of discovering what I’m comfortable identifying as has been the fact that I am still comfortable in tradituonally feminine clothing, so I was very confused at why it was so hard for me to be perceived as a woman,” Siminak adds. “In the past few years, as men have been more open about being feminine, especially in media, it’s made me realize that I can enjoy feminine fashion and still be trans-masculine/male leaning.”
Who a person is and their style choices are also hard to discover without room to grow and think. This was true for Siminak as well. Being at home gave him room to grow at his own pace without input from others.
“Once I wasn’t being forced to present so masculine all the time for things as intense as my own safety,” he says, “I was able to explore the feminine parts of my identity I had been repressing, because I felt that they made me less valid.”
It wasn’t always easy for Siminak during the process pre-quarantine. “Coming out at school was a whole ordeal, and once I started using the mens locker room, I was verbally harassed for just simply changing for gym.”
After time to reflect, Siminak happily reported that he has come to terms with his identity.
In fact, being at home during quarantine, which was difficulty for so many, wasn’t such a bad time for Siminak. “It was honestly like taking a break from my peers’ perception of me, which gave me time to explore my own perception of myself.”