Eathon is a 4th year student at Trent University who plays goalie for the Peterborough Huskies, a special needs hockey team that will be playing in Special Hockey International tournament here in Peterborough in March 2017. Eathon is transgender. Below is Eathon's story...
Eathon playing goal for the Peterborough Huskies
Many of you know me as Eathon or “Bernier” and that I’m the intermediate starting goaltender for the Peterborough Huskies, and a fourth year Trent Student. What you probably didn’t know is that I am also a Transgender man, and most likely the first openly trans player in Special Hockey International (SHI) history.
Being Transgender means that a person identifies with the gender opposite from what they were assigned at birth. For me, that means I was assigned as a woman a birth but I identify as a man now 22 years later.
The medical term is called gender dysphoria, and it means exactly as it sounds: a person feels a state of unease or generalized dissatisfaction when it comes to their assigned gender. There are varying degrees of how one might face this—some are happy just changing their name and/or how they identify, other may choose to include hormones and surgery.
This is a private thing for every Trans person out there and should never be asked about unless the person brings it up themselves and is willing to talk about it. Luckily I am very open about being Trans and hope to help anyone else in the SHI to come out.
Before I came out as trans, I began doing small things like dressing more masculine. I tried a few different male names like Oliver but none really suited me so they never stuck. I started using male products, and cutting my hair in a way that made me feel like a man.
The name choosing was quite hard. For months, I couldn’t find the right one. Then I remembered in high school I used a male name for an online roleplay site, so I tried using it and began to really ring with who I am. So I began to use Eathon, which means “strong", "firm”.
On June 28th 2015, I came out on Facebook to all my family, friends, and teammates that I was Trans. And I must confess I was absolutely terrified but luckily I received more love than hate.
This late January to early February, I started hormone replacement therapy which allows for a trans person to take hormones that gives them physical changes to make them appear more like the gender they identify as.
Today it's been approximately seven months since I’ve started and I am loving every change I notice; I have filled out (less curves), I have more body hair, my voice has completely changed (which I hated before because it always gave me away), I am now noticing facial hair, and best of all I don’t get my period anymore. But again, these changes vary from person to person and shouldn’t be asked about unless the person brings it up themselves and is willing to talk about it.
I also am waiting on top-surgery to give me a chest that I can be comfortable in. While hormones can reduce the size of your chest, it can’t get it to the typical male chest. And luckily Ontario is starting to move in the right direction by offering these surgeries to be covered by OHIP via a doctor referral, which I just recently got approved for which I am very excited about.
So now that you know some of the basic information on the transition from female to male, you’re probably sitting there wondering, How does one know that they’re trans? Well, it’s a different story for everyone.
For me, I was born Clarissa Rueckwart. I was pretty different from most girls my age; most of them were interested in makeup, Barbie’s, tea parties, and pink and more pink (I HATE pink). I was sometimes interested but what really made me happy was my hot wheels, my remote controlled vehicles, my Tonka trucks, and everything to do with outside (bugs, dirt, mud, you name it).
For the longest time, I wondered, Why don’t I like what other girls do? Why am I so different? I couldn’t figure it out so I just went along with being a woman because I didn’t know any different. Puberty was a difficult stage for me because after everything happened I was just so disappointed and all I could think is, "This is wrong, this shouldn’t be happening. UGH NO, why is this happening."
Again, I just went with the program. On occasion, I even wore a dress (for prom and grad) but I really hated doing so. So the next few years I tried figuring out this feeling of dysphoria and I thought maybe sexuality was the missing key so I came out as gay and bisexual (which stuck to this day) but it still wasn’t making any sense.
So about two years ago, I was introduced to the idea of transgender. At first, I was like, “Wait, no way impossible” but then I started doing little things and that really ugly heavy feeling of dysphoria eased more and more with every change I did. Today, I have never felt more like myself but there is a long way to go.
As awesome as this may sound to find out who you are, being Trans comes with a ton of risks because the public relies on stereotypes. Being Trans can put a target on your back. So I think it's critical that people know we're just people trying to find ourselves and feel comfortable in our own bodies. Thank you for reading my Trans Story.