Canton teacher looking to inspire those struggling with gender

CANTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Tonight’s edition of “Nyberg” brings the story of transition. Taking one’s life and living it to its fullest and being who you really are.

26-year-old Dusty Rader, an English teacher in Canton is a transgender person. He says he was born a girl, but from a very young age, identified as a boy.

He is telling his story to be an inspiration for people who are struggling to be who they really are and to educate the world about gender.

“When I was 3-years-old, I knew that I was a boy, but because it was the early 90’s my parents didn’t know what it meant to be a transgender so didn’t really understand what I was saying,” explained Rader. “…I didn’t understand what I was saying either, I was 3-years-old, I was still learning and so, when I look back at my life and when I reflect on when did I know I was a boy, the answer is I always knew since I started identifying as anything.”

Rader also spoke of the internal difficulties transgender people often face.

“Among transgender people, there is a 41% attempted suicide rate,” he said.

“There’s a reason that there’s a 41% attempted suicide rate among trans-people, and it’s not trans-people, that’s not the reason,” he stated. “It’s that stigma that I mentioned before about trans-people that so negatively affected your psyche where you know every day that if somebody finds out they could just kill you, or punch you.”

Despite this figure, Rader has a strong message for those struggling with their gender identity.

“You can make it through even when it seems absolutely impossible,” said Rader. “There are people out there who do care for you even though you don’t know and even if your family isn’t supportive, there are other people out there.”

Rader was very fortunate that his family accepted his transition immediately and have helped him every step of the way.