Transitioning in public, being a trans parent, and what the future holds
We had the pleasure of speaking to Tyler Phillips, an online content creator who started documenting his transition on social media two years ago. During our interview, he opened up about his journey with gender identity and its intersection with his family. They explained that growing up, they presented in a very masculine way and were often called a ‘tomboy’. He initially came out as a lesbian, believing that his struggle with his identity was finally over. Tyler went out, got a haircut and exchanged their wardrobe for traditionally male clothing.
He convinced himself that he was simply taking on the more ‘masculine’ role in the relationship. At the time Tyler came out, there was little to no education on LGBTQ+ issues. Like with many others, this lack of visibility and awareness of trans identities made coming out as trans even more difficult.
Starting gender affirming healthcare
Four years ago Tyler’s friend came out as trans, he expressed feeling ‘envious’ of his friend and believed it was too late for him to transition at an older age. This was an even heavier feeling for Tyler given the fact that he had a wife and a child. However, two years ago, he finally decided to look for service providers offering gender affirming healthcare, ultimately leading him to GenderGP from a recommendation by his friend. Tyler explained that his experience as a patient at GenderGP has been ‘absolutely amazing’. It was the ‘simplest and smoothest process’ he’d ever encountered and was surprised by the love and care our team members had regarding his treatment.
“If you are spending most of your days and nights researching if you are trans, you probably are.”
Tyler Phillips’ experience coming out
Coming to terms with his identity also meant having to come out again and again. While his wife was very supportive, he was scared of coming out to his son. After a short conversation, his then five-year-old son immediately understood, and from his own initiative started calling him ‘dad’. The emotional connection he was so afraid of losing ended up developing into an even closer bond between the two.
Tyler’s experience with his son is the perfect example of how children can often be the most understanding regarding queer and trans issues. Not only did Tyler’s child embrace him as his dad, he also began educating other classmates about gender roles. Tyler proudly told us that his child educated one of his classmates, explaining that there are no such things as ‘girl toys and boy toys’ and that everyone should be allowed to play with whatever toys they wish to. Children are capable of understanding LGBTQ+ issues, and simply talking about them does not mean we are forcing our gender and sexuality on anyone!
Documenting his transition
After coming out to his loved ones Tyler began documenting his transition on TikTok, and the feedback he’s received so far has been incredible. The lack of representation and his passion for educating others while showcasing the diverse experiences of trans people inspired him to create his content. It is so important to see someone like Tyler, who transitioned in their 40s, while also being a parent, talk about his life. He wanted to ensure that at least one other person could see themselves represented. Talking about his own experience online was like ‘keeping a diary’, and in doing so, he was able to see his own journey of growth. He continues to educate others on all the positive aspects of being a trans person and a parent, as well as the many challenges that can come alongside it.
Education is key
Tyler has been working as a member of staff at a police department for over 16 years. His workplace has been especially wonderful regarding his transition and they were able to offer him adequate support. It was ‘extremely comfortable’ working in such a safe and inclusive environment. Nevertheless, he is aware that his experience does not reflect that of all trans and gender diverse employees.
In the future, Tyler’s aim is to educate employers about trans issues, discussing the importance of diversity training and education to support marginalised employees starting their gender affirming healthcare journey. He is keen on going into organisations, schools and other establishments and spreading awareness on LGBTQ+ topics in order for these companies to be more prepared when employees or students come out to them.
When asked what he enjoyed most about creating content, Tyler stated that it was ‘seeing my growth as a person’. The simple act of reaching other trans and gender-diverse people made it all worth it. His advice to other trans people who would like to start creating content is to simply ‘go for it’, while always remaining true to oneself.
Tyler was able to transition and feel more comfortable in his body thanks to his ease of access to gender-affirming healthcare. We are incredibly proud that we were able to support Tyler in becoming the amazing person he is today. Check out his TikTok for more amazing content on navigating life as a trans person.
This interview is part of a monthly series titled Showcasing Our Community: Trans Creators Making a Difference, where we spotlight trans content creators and share their experiences with the wider community. The intention is to share and celebrate the work of trans individuals with GenderGP’s members and to spread some positivity through the world.
We thank Tyler for being so open and sharing his story with us. If you are a trans content creator of any sort, such as an activist, artist or TikToker and this interview inspired you to share your own journey, then make sure to contact us via: firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to sharing who you are with our community.