A 21-year-old transgender man has recorded a video where he reads an encouraging letter to his pre-transition self.
Jamie Raines reads the letter to the teenage version of himself, who always felt something was different—but for a long time couldn’t figure out why.
“Pretty soon, you’re going to realise something big about yourself,” says Raines, “and it will change your life forever."
He continues: “You’re not weird, you’re not a freak, you’re transgender. There is nothing wrong with you and you’re not alone.”
Raines says in the video that he wasn’t aware what it meant to be transgender until he watched a documentary.
He tells younger Jamie what it will be like to transition, and the support he’ll get from his family, friends and girlfriend.
“I know that you’re currently going through a really tough time,” he continues. “But you’ll get through it."
Offering his younger self some advice, he says: “Try writing down how you’re feeling, you won’t be able to talk about it straight away," adding that “the hardest thing is going to be accepting yourself."
He concludes the letter by stating that "with time—and seeing others out there going through the same thing—you’ll get there.”
The video ends with a time-lapse of selfies that Raines took during his transition with the message: “One day, you’ll be really proud of who you are.”