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tv   Becoming Andi  BBC News  December 24, 2021 4:30pm-5:01pm GMT

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latest data show that covid infections have reached a record high in the uk. an estimated 1—point—7 million people had the virus last week. at least 39 people have been killed after a packed ferry caught fire in southern bangladesh. the number of casualties is likely to increase as many of the passengers have severe burns. the former south korean president park goon—hay, is to be granted a pardon by the government. ms park was impeached and removed from office in 2017, and jailed for twenty— two years on corruption charges. final preparations are under way ahead of the launch of the world's most powerful telescope. the james webb space telescope is due to blast off on christmas day. now on bbc news: becoming andi. transgender teen andi bernabe documented his life
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for a yearfor the bbc. falling over myself. that's all right. my name is andi bernabe. this journey didn't start when i found out what the word transgender that was. honestly, it started when i was born. coming to terms with my identity felt like trying to deny a part of myself that i thought would never be reality. i kind of felt like a someone put a cap on a volcano and i wasjust sitting on top of that volcano, not trying to let that cap go. but in the end the volcano exploded. i want to be referred to as andi from now on. i was just mostly scared of the people around me,
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what they would think. i'm so happy! after the volcano exploded, all these flowers and trees and life flourished because the ground was, like, re—nourished. but, you know, it's not all peaches and cream, sunshine and lollipops. things didn't go as planned. i can't live like this any more. fear really does do something to a person. this is my story. ah! this is who i am.
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i actually was born in queens, new york. i was there for five years until we moved straight from there to texas, and we haven't moved anywhere ever since. as a kid, i definitely wore a lot of boyish clothes. i did not enjoy wearing skirts, dresses, all that. maybe that was early symptoms of my dysphoria. gender dysphoria is the discomfort and distress in individuals whose gender identity is different from what they were assigned at birth. i didn't even find out what lgbtq even meant until my middle school years, when i had access to the internet through my phone. no adults ever taught me about it or told me anything about it. bisexual, transgender, queer...
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overlapping voices. repelled by the mere - notion of homosexuality... gay couples on the steps of city hall... and every day it gets better. being here in texas, it's part of, like, the bible belt so there's a lot of conservative people here that maybe don't agree with the lgbtq lifestyle. in early school days, like, elementary to middle school, they don't really teach you a lot, you know, only about the reproductive system and safe sex between straight couples. and, literally, that's it. no gay stuff. nuh—uh. that's. .. you can't, you shouldn't, you can't do that. my dysphoria started to manifest around the start of freshman year, i'd say.
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it's just a really uncomfy feeling that, like... it feels like it's like clawing at the back of my neck and itjust won't go away. at the time, my hair was about, like, this to this long. it was, like, really long. it was really heavy and it was actually causing me neck pain. so, i was like, "huh, i want to get my hair cut." i would use that reasoning almost as, like, a cover—up excuse for, deep down, why i actually really wanted my hair cut. over time, the feeling got stronger and stronger, then i started realising, "i think there's something different here at play." basically, i got it all chopped off. when we went inside the car, i immediately started, like, bawling.
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i'm so happy! i've wanted this for so long! this feels better than i ever expected. when i finally, like, realised why ifelt like that, it, like... it was, like, a light bulb explosion. it was like, "oh my god," it got me so excited. it was probably the big changing moment to make me realise, "yeah, no, i'm probably... "probably tra nsgender. " i want to officially say — hey, i want to be referred to as andi from now on. if you guys have any questions at all, feel free to swipe up and ask me, i will be glad to answer. i was scared, obviously, that some people might not think that it's ok, especially the adults, but i felt like, happy.
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like, really happy. the night before my birthday, i kind of was awake the entire time. i remember walking in the school and thinking, "oh, my god, "i'm an adult now, i am a legal adult. "it is my birthday, i am 18." then i got a text from my friend, bella, and she was like, "hey, can you come up to the choir room real quick?" she doesn't get upset much, so, like, ithought it was a serious problem. when everything was ready, i brought him upstairs, and someone was videoing... i was greeted with the entire room filled with a bunch of people, yelling...
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surprise! happy birthday to you! she spun me around after they stopped singing happy birthday, and then she said, "so, since you're, like, a legal adult now, we kind of raised enough money for you to change your name." in my head, i was like... a sensory overload. and ijust, as you can see in the video, completely broke down. and started crying. looking back on it makes me so extremely happy, honestly. i didn't have to pay to be comfortable with my name on paper and my legal name,
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so why should andi have to? the video went viral. andi just has so many people who love him and support him, it wasn't a difficult task to get the money raised for him, rather than having him have that burden himself. i feel like two completely separate people in my existence — from years ago to now. that's the thing, i was always the same person, but to me, mentally, it felt like two different people that i've lived through. my family, we have talked about my identity and all that, but they're generally, like, ok now. at first, they weren't. not everything's, you know, perfect in this world, but that's totally fine. they're, like, ok now.
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now, the story behind this — i actually had a different cardboard sign taped to my door with my dead name, but i was like, "you know what? "let's change that." so i did. welcome! these are my paintings that i have done. this is my most recent painting, that i'm very proud of. now, pertaining to my whole trans journey, i've been trying to, like, take a selfie picture of myself with my polaroid on every single one of my birthdays. that's the shortest my hair's ever been before i actually cut it, and that's a year after. these plaques are probably the most important plaques that i will ever own. they're from my all—state days, my all—state choir days. it was just one huge choir of all the best singers in texas. and i've done that three times!
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the third time, i actually got to put my name, like, my name—name on my plaque. the infamous birth certificate that i got when my friends gave me $300 to change my name. this is my closet. a lot of colours. and, yeah, that that's my room — it's pink. it's very pink. yeah, it sucks. but that's ok, because i'm going to be moving out, anyways. i'm going to miss high school, i'm going miss high school a lot. i think the thing i'm going to miss
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the most isjust, like, having so many friends and connections with everyone. but i am looking forward to the next stage of my life and everything that's going to be happening next. it's going to be really exciting, i'm really excited. i have less than two weeks now till moving day. all the stuff i'm going to need. ah! it's so cool, it's my own card. it's a debit card, wow. i'm excited to move out of my parents�* house and into college, where i canjust be myself. at home, my family still uses my deadname and misgenders me. being deadnamed and being mispronouned is a lot more serious, a lot more on a deeper level thanjust, you know, the obvious.
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so, when you do get misidentified like that, it's a slap in the face every single time it happens. i understand where they come from, when they've never had a really close interaction with a trans person, and now their kid is one, so i can take the liberty to be like, "0k, like, i get it." today's the day. ah! oh, my gosh. oh, my god, oh, my god, oh, my god! ok, so, i'm kind of teary—eyed because ijust said goodbye to my parents. but this is it, i'm here. i'm fine. i'm just really excited, and this is all so new, so... this is really exciting. later on, i'm going to be watching a movie with friends, so that's nice. i'm going to freshen up first because i've been sweaty all day.
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yeah, this... this is it. first day of college classes. my first class is japanese, and i'm really excited — and that's an in—person class, so i get to go to the language building. yay! ijust got groceries for the first time and i legit forgot my card, so that's fun. i tried to get up, and i hit my head. really hard. i love adulting — i'm waking up early, i'm being productive. this is weird, i don't
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know, new environment. ok, i don't even know where to begin. long story short — i wasn't getting messages because my student email changed from my deadname to my actual name. so i had to re—log in with my new email, and it finally got changed. now ijust have to get my id changed, which i... i don't know how. one step at a time. my name is still not andi, legally. the only reason why is, i have such an innate fear of changing it because of, like, how my parents are going to react. there's only so much that i can do to socially transition. i can cut my hair as short as i want, i can wear as much masculine clothing as i want, but that's all that
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i could do by myself. ifeel more dysphoric now than i did before. the more that i know that i've been, physically, this way for as long as i have is breaking me down the more that time passes. sometimes you can't even get up in the day, because you just feel extremely dysphoric. despite all of the really bad stuff that i've been experiencing, ever since coming to college, it's done so much good for me, because, obviously, people have been meeting me as andi. they have never known me before i came out, and this is literally theirfirst impression of me. for the past few months — four months, i believe — i've been dating someone. we met online, met over tinder, of course.
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he actually took the liberty to go and do research about being trans and, like, how it affects someone. it takes that one little storm cloud away from the rest of my giant thunderstorm. it's just one little thing i don't have to worry about any more. christmas time in the bernabe household is... in every other sense, but it's outweighed by the fear
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of what i'm going to have to wear. hello, it is currently christmas morning! on this beautiful day, on this bike that i'm low—key too short for. merry christmas, happy new year. before, my family would take christmas pictures every single year. we would dress up fancy in the theme of whatever the christmas decorations were. every year before this one, i would wear a dress. but this year, this year was so different because i wore a suit. in any other circumstance, i don't think i would be able to, but because our christmas decorations were pink for 2020,
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it gave me the perfect opportunity to be like, "hey, mum, can i wear my pink suit for these christmas pictures, "because it's perfect and it's perfect and everything?" she also agreed. she was like, "yeah, sure, you can wear that. "like, it's notjust perfectly." and i'm like... i really felt, like, normal. like, it wasn't an argument, it wasn't like a thing i had to spend weeks convincing. it just. .. itjust happened. these are like the special moments that people talk about when they think about theirfamily, and now i have one of those, so it's it's really cool. it's my 19th birthday today! it's been literally exactly a year since when my friends surprised me with the gift that they gave me. a year later, and my name is still not legally andi. fear really does do
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something to a person. i'm in college, i obviously cannot pay this myself at the moment. i don't have a job, i'm trying to look for one, and so i'm currently depending on my parents to pay my tuition and things like that. there's a possibility that they might not do that any more if i get my name changed. 0r there's a possibility to where they're going to ask me to have it changed back. so, today is the day that i'm going home. it's currently like 6:00—something in the morning, and i am so exhausted. i think this weekend, i'm going to specifically bring up the topic of testosterone.
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because i am at the age where i can go do that by myself. i'm really nervous, honestly. it might get emotional, the conversation, but that's ok. this is nothing that i haven't talked about before. so it's not like it's anything new. like, "hello, i'm trans," out of nowhere. but, yeah, we'll see how it goes.
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the main point within the conversation that we had that weekend was that she does not feel comfortable with me making big decisions, like getting my name change or starting testosterone or getting my surgery, until i am mature. i one day hope that my mum realises, "0h, shoot, this is serious. "this is real. "this is a valid thing that my child is going through, "and i'm now realising that this is really important to them and that "i need to be a supportive parent and help my kid be happy." it's not the last time that we're going to have this conversation,
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that's just going to be a constant, constant thing that's going to be happening, that's probably never going to stop happening. it's taken me a while to accept the fact that things just don't go as planned, and you just got to keep going despite that. i'm finallyjust at the point where i can look back at myself and realised that i've become a lot more of myself. i'm so glad that i didn't give up when i really, really, really wanted to — because now i'm here. this is my story and this is who i am, and i'm honestly so glad that you all have, you know, come along with this ride with me and watched myjourney this past year. and i just wanted to say thank you.
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there won't be much sunshine on offer this weekend northern scotland has seen some today and will again for christmas day. furthest away with when offence coming from the south—west. throughout the christmas weekend the further south—west you are the milder the weather will be, the further north—east you are, even though you may well see some sunshine, it will feel coldest year.
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as you go into tonight it is the clear skies which become more widespread across scotland. hydro setting in places especially in the highlands. as with it to england, wales and northern ireland it is cloud, mist and fog of rain and this is where temperatures will be staying. maybe a few spots in the finals in england could see temperatures close to freezing the touch of frost. for christmas day scotland has a cold frosty start seeing some sunshine. northern ireland, england, wales with cloud and outbreaks of rain, turning right and outbreaks of rain, turning right and northern ireland. it could well see snow developing in the peak district later in the day. it is mild in the far south—west. chilly elsewhere with a freshening breeze. 0ldest elsewhere with a freshening breeze. oldest in scotland despite the sunshine. two saturday night into boxing day this wet weather pushes north and needs holder and particularly northern england and southern scotland and especially the higher ground we get some snow out
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of that. this is where we have clearly got the coldest weather going into boxing day. now that snow may be relatively low start off on boxing day with a higher accumulations hills and what is left of this mercy hills no other pushes further north. why get plenty of cloud around, few showers, brighter skies in the far south—west. it is still mild and elsewhere it is on the chilly side. as we go through the chilly side. as we go through the week ahead there will be significant changes in the way. no more a battle mild and cold air, it is the milder that will wind out and some spots are going mild but also wet and windy.
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this is bbc news broadcasting to viewers in the uk and around the globe. our top stories... new records for covid in the uk — the highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began and an estimated i—point—7 million are reported to have had the virus on a single day last week. it's onlyjust now that the cases are starting to tip into the older population, particularly 60 and 70 plus year olds, and there are a number of different reasons why we need to continue to look at this data further. at least 39 people are killed after a packed ferry caught fire in southern bangladesh. the most powerful telescope to ever be launched into space is due to blast off on christmas day. and the queen is expected to give a very personal
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christmas message this year, her first since the death


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