While growing up in Cherry Hill, Milo Cancello (‘17) would do activities like soccer, martial arts and bike ride and would occasionally horseback ride in Mexico. When Cancello was in elementary school, all his friends were guys.
“I didn’t really realize there were any differences between me and the guys,” said Cancello.
Friends of Cancello’s parents would say things such as, “She’s just like a boy,” while Cancello would say, “I’m more of a guy than a girl.” Before his transition, he referred to himself as a tomboy.
Once Cancello got to grade 9, he came out to his friends, schoolmates and family as a transgender male. All his friends and a lot of classmates were accepting of his transition, but classmates were also confused. At home, Cancello never came out to his brother due to his homophobia and transphobia; however, when he came out to his parents, they cried.
“[My parents] were like, ‘Oh, we’ll accept you no matter what,’” said Cancello. “But two weeks later they were really negative about it.”
His parents were puzzled by Cancello’s transformation and thought this was all a phase.
“My mom thinks that since she’s a tomboy, she’s also trans…” said Cancello. “She thinks that I’m just going through a phase that I’m a tomboy.”
At school, Cancello never experienced any type of harassment yet he struggles with comfortability. He gets changed in the nurse’s bathroom for gym and takes advantage of the all-gender bathroom installed in B-wing.
“I don’t like using the guys bathroom because there are still people here who think I’m a girl,” said Cancello.
Along with being transgender, Cancello is asexual. He realized that he was asexual before realizing he was transgender. His sexuality was never an issue for him.
As being a transgender person, there are a lot of misconceptions people have. One of the biggest misconceptions is being told that you are a girl trapped inside of a man’s body or a man trapped inside of a girl’s body.
In order to eliminate these misconceptions, Cancello thinks that there should be a gender studies class at East that will educate students on all the different genders and sexualities. Cancello also thinks that teachers should be more educated on the topic as well.
If people at East are taught about genders and sexualities, students would be more sincere to the struggles transgender students face everyday.