Derek Venturi was lucky. He was a starter on his high school hockey team, on track to be team captain by his 11th year. He was taller than average. Strong and athletic. Popular with the ladies. And probably most importantly, stealth. With his mom being a science minded doctoral candidate and his dad a well educated lawyer his childhood was pretty easy, minus the divorce.. and fights… and bullies… but Derek was lucky.
When Derek was 5 years old he told his mother and father in no uncertain terms that he was a boy and they would have to deal. Of course, “just dealing” didn't happen. But George and Abby, his amazing and educated parents quickly signed the kid up for therapy to try and make sure that he was right.
Derek Venturi was lucky. He got a therapist who confirmed he was who he said he was and parents who did everything they could to make sure that he was allowed to be his truest self. Of course he started Kindergarten as “Delilah Venturi” and it wasn’t until the second grade that he had been allowed to change his name through the school to “Derek”. He got the name from a few Hockey stars he heard talked about on the news.
Derek Venturi was lucky. He had amazing parents and an amazing medical team that he didn’t understand yet. Derek Venturi was 7 years old when he was asked by a classmate “why do you dress like a boy?”
Derek was confused. “I am a boy.”
“My mom says you’re just a confused little girl.” The classmate went on. The teacher did not step in.
“I’m a boy.” Derek stated more firmly, his small fist clenched to his side.
“Yeah? Then why did the teacher call you “Delilah last year! You’re just a stupid icky girl!” The other second grader continued to taunt. “Delilah is a girl pretending to be a boy! She’s so stupid!”
“My name is Derek!” Derek yelled as he lunged at the other student. He pulled his arm back to swing a punch, “and I’m a boy!” Derek hit his classmate. He was suspended for one week.
He never went back to that school.
George and Abby decided it would be best to transfer schools and start fresh, where no one would know who Derek used to be known as.
Derek excitedly agreed.
Derek’s new school had an awesome Hockey program anyway. He wouldn’t be able to play yet. That was only for 5th graders and up. But he was more than ready.
“They’re awesome aren’t they?” A blonde kid about Derek’s age stood next to Derek as they looked at the rink to see the high school team practice. “I’m Sam, and you are?” The kid asked.
“I’m Derek.” He smiled in return.
“Are you starting at our school Monday? I heard we were getting a new student and I’ve never seen you before.” Sam asked.
“Yeah.” Derek answered.
“Do you know who your teacher is going to be?”
“Oh that’s my teacher too! Awesome! She’s super nice! Well I can’t wait for new friends! See ya man!” Sam exclaimed as he trotted to meet his mom to leave.
Derek smiled ear to ear. He wasn’t even questioned. It felt amazing to have his classmates know who he is from the start.
And so Derek started his new school. Sam quickly became his best friend. Time passed.
At 10 years old, he gained a new little sister to his family of Mom, Dad, and brother. Marti. Derek suggested they name her something more gender neutral in case she’s like him. His parents smiled in agreement.
At 12 years old, his parents got a divorce. He blamed himself. He thought his existence caused it. Derek was sent into a deep depression and refused to do anything besides eat, sleep, and play hockey. George, while worried about him, was preoccupied with his own pain and taking care of the younger of the two children. He barely noticed the secrets Derek began keeping.
Derek and his therapists and doctors had been discussing hormones and options before the divorce, they had decided that he would need to wait until he was 14 to start T. Derek wasn’t too upset with that. He knew that meant he would probably have to deal with some “female” puberty stuff but if he could hide it he’d be fine.
Derek could totally deal with this.
When Derek was 15 years old, his dad married a woman named Nora McDonald. His family now included his dad, a brother, his baby sister, and his new step mom, and step sisters.
Great. He had begged his dad to not tell Nora or her daughters about who “he used to be”. George agreed, but told him that because they’d be living here that they may end up finding out and it would probably be better that he told them himself.
Derek Venturi was lucky. He was safely stealth. He was a ladies man. He was the king of the school. He was Derek.
He also was a trans man who sometimes got periods. He started getting them at 13, one year before starting T. He was able to deal with it. The one time Sam found he had tampons in his bag he was able to explain it away. Hockey is a dangerous game. Nothing stops a nosebleed like a tampon. His dad told him about it. Etc. etc.
He was always prepared. Until he started T. He stopped getting his period. Mostly.
Three months after moving into the Venturi house, after fighting over bedrooms and throwing the worst party ever, Casey and Derek had settled into a begrudgingly tolerant relationship. Derek couldn’t help but think that Casey was the most attractive person he’d ever seen. And he could never handle himself well on his days after T-shots. He would get angry and push her away.
One day he was angry and didn’t understand why, his next T-shot wasn’t until next week. And yet he was snapping at Casey more than usual. And fuck his stomach hurt. He couldn’t understand why. Maybe he was just tired. School had been extremely rough that day. And he had hockey practice early that morning. Maybe his abs just hurt from all the laps.
“Yo! Der! Did you sit in ketchup?” Sam called to him.
“What?” Derek replied.
“There’s Ketchup all over your jeans bro.”
Derek started chuckling “damn. Must have been my Keener step sister trying to prank me back. Probably paint. I’m going to go have a word with her.” Derek laughed it off and hurried to his locked where he grabbed his sweats he wore to practice that morning and to see if he had any supplies.
Casey. She’s got to have some.
Fuck. This meant he’d have to come out to her. He couldn’t go to the nurse and risk being caught.
He could try and break into her locker. Yes! That’d work then if he got caught he could say he was pranking her. Derek made his way to Casey’s locker. She was standing right in front of it. Derek Venturi is not lucky.
“Casey. Walk with me.” He said as he pulled her away from her conversation with Emily into an empty hallway. “I need a pad.” Derek hushedly spoke.
“What?” Casey asked confused.
“A pad. Or a tampon preferably. Do you have one?”
“Why?” Casey raised an eyebrow, suspicious of Derek’s odd request.
“Look at my pants.”
Casey listened. And her eyes widened at the realization. She was still so confused.
“What? I thought you were…” she trailed off.
“I am a guy. I’m just a guy… dealing with shit. I promise I’ll explain when we get home. Just please get me some supplies.”
Casey nodded and went to her locker and got the requested supplies. “Here. And a tide pen and bag for your pants.”
“Thank you Casey!” Derek exclaimed and kissed her on the cheek before running off to the nearest bathroom. Thank god for free class right after lunch.
Casey was more than ready for that conversation when they got home.