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Although Angelika and Jake lived on opposite ends of the country, they say they had very similar experiences growing up transgender. It wasn't easy, they say.

At school, both say they were teased mercilessly. "[School] was a constant place of torment just because I was different. Just because I was more feminine than the other boys," Angelika says.

As Julia, Jake says he started high school with a lot of friends, but that changed when he told them he was transgender. "Everybody would pick on me," he says. "They'd follow me to class and they'd beat me up like four at a time, just punching me and throwing things at me.

Watch   target=_blank> Watch Jake and Angelika's emotional confessions.

"The constant name-calling and teasing caused Angelika to have panic attacks and miss school. "I would have 40 to 50 absences a year," she says. Jake says he also missed a lot of school. "I'd start ditching," he says. "They finally called my mom and they were like, 'Hey, your kid isn't coming to school.'"

Eventually, Angelika and Jake say the pain became almost too much to bear. "I started having suicidal thoughts early on because every single day, every single day , it was the same thing over and over and over again," she says. Angelika says she still has scars from when she used to cut herself. "As the blood would come out I would feel like my pain was coming out," she says.

Jake also thought about suicide. "One day I just ran and grabbed a knife and held it to my chest," he says. "I just wanted to die. That was the only way I knew how to solve my problems."
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FROM: Born in the Wrong Body
Published on September 28, 2007

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