Kelsey Sproat has repressed her authentic self since kindergarten. Last fall she finally began her transition.
Sproat, who is now in her late 40s, chose to embrace her life as a trans woman by using Twitter, and her following of over 38,000 people, to proudly announce the change.
She is now documenting her journey on a new account called @BecomingKelsey.
"I became tired of being a secret to most of those who knew me," Sproat said.
LISTEN | Kelsey Sproat spoke with Stefani Langenegger on The Morning Edition
Sproat decided to transition following therapy that helped her discover a cache of repressed feelings and memories that dated back to her four-year-old self.
"It was a constant internal struggle with identity," she said. "I felt like I was playing a role that society had carved out for me, and I was playing it well."
She had a marriage to attend, a family to raise and a career to focus on. She felt there was no escaping.
"I spent many months resisting the acceptance of this reality," Sproat said.
"I had my own internalized fears and phobias that indicated to me that I would be that weirdo now."
Sproat realized she deserved to come to terms with who she is. While it was hard, she has no regrets.
"It really just became something that was important to me, as opposed to something that I refused to allow to be part of my life, and in doing so, I want to be visible. I want to have a voice," said Sproat.
Building a community online
Over the past few weeks, Sproat started coming out to her family, friends and colleagues.
"They were overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. And then I really felt like I had one more step, and that was to come out socially on my social media platforms," said Sproat.
She had been using social media like Instagram and Twitter to follow other people's transition journeys and saw a community of support.
"I give a lot of credit to that online community, especially on Twitter," said Sproat. "There are others sharing their truth and their journeys and it really helped me see that there could be a path for me."
Documenting her transition
She started building a presence on her new account @BecomingKelsey, but all the people that had come to know her on her former account still didn't know about her transition.
On May 12, she finally came out to her thousands of followers. She said they continued to embrace her.
"People that I thought might have bigoted viewpoints about transgender women or transgender men or non binary folks came at me with very supportive and positive messages," said Sproat.
She credits Twitter with giving her the ability to be authentic while becoming a positive influence in the transgender community.
"Every step I've made in the last several months has lifted mountains off my shoulders."