Sarah McBride won election as American University’s student government president as Tim McBride. She served for a year as Tim McBride. But two weeks ago, as she stepped down from the office, she set the record straight:

As SG President, I realized that as great as it is to work on issues of fairness, it only highlighted my own struggles. It didn’t bring the completeness that I sought. By mid-fall, it had gotten to the point where I was living in my own head. With everything I did, from the mundane to the exciting, the only way I was able to enjoy it was if I re-imagined doing it as a girl. My life was passing me by, and I was done wasting it as someone I wasn’t.

I told my family and some of my closest friends over winter break. My brothers and parents greeted me with immediate support and unconditional love. This was the first time that my parents have had to worry about my safety, my job prospects and my acceptance. This story is my experience and my experience alone. There is no one-size-fits-all narrative; everyone’s path winds in different ways.

The experience highlights my own privilege. I grew up in an upper-income household, in an accepting environment and with incredible educational opportunities. I never worried about my family’s reaction.

But those worries are all too common for most. For far too many trans individuals, the reality is far bleaker; coming out oftentimes means getting kicked out of your home. I say this not to diminish my own experience, but to acknowledge the privilege and opportunities which have been afforded to me.

Today is the next day of the life I’ve already had, but at the same time, the first day of the life I always knew I wanted to lead. Starting on Saturday, I will present as my true self. Going forward, I ask that you use female pronouns (she/her) and my chosen name, Sarah.

Congrats, Sarah, and good luck.