WYOMING, Mich. — Jay Morgan is finally living as the person he feels he was always meant to be.
The 26-year-old, who was born female, began transitioning to male in 2015.
"I always felt that, like, I was a tomboy," Morgan told FOX 17 News. "I couldn't really explain it, you know, I didn't know what being trans was. I didn't know that it was even possible, you know, but I knew that something needed to change within me in order for me to be happy."
In recent years Morgan has undergone "top surgery" to reconstruct his chest, and also legally changed his name and driver's license to match his new identity.
"I feel confident, I feel really good about where I'm going and where I'm at, you know, and that's taken some time to make peace with and to understand that it's okay to be where I'm at now," said Morgan. "It was a lot deeper than just being uncomfortable. It was an identity thing."
Morgan said family and friends have been largely supportive, but there have been challenges along his transition journey, particularly when it comes to work and dating.
But, perhaps the biggest challenge has been coming to terms with who Jay really is.
"I think a lot of the transition is a mental battle. It's an internal battle, right? Trying to figure out yourself and where you fit in the world and, you know, who really is supporting you," he explained. "It's a constant thing. You're constantly coming up with these thoughts of, you know, are my hips too wide? Is my chest looking this way? You know, all these different, like, dysphoria-type thoughts."
Morgan said his transition will be "lifelong" as he has to remain on testosterone for the rest of his life.
"When it comes to someone that is transitioning, unconditional love is the best thing that you can show a person," he said. "We are just people, right? Like, we just want to be loved like everybody else... I think my message for people is just understand that trans people are just human beings, just trying to figure out what's best for them. And that we're all different. We all have different stories, you know, and I think being able to accept trans people, and being able to try to understand... starts with listening to their stories, listening to our stories."
Morgan recently began a singing career and has dreams of making it big.
He is thrilled to finally be living what he calls the most authentic version of himself.
"I do think that if, like, if I were to talk to my 14-year-old self, that person will be proud of who I am today. And I think that's the symbol of growth that I've wanted, you know, this whole time."