Recently, I have been noticing a lot of progress as it has to do with the acceptance of the LGBT+ community. Specifically, the transgender community has been under a microscope for quite a while now, from Caitlin Jenner to the unnervingly long list of transgender people that we've lost in 2016 alone. Because of this, I wanted to find someone who could shed some light on the community, their struggles, and what they want other people to know.
Kade, a transgender man, was gracious enough to let me interview him about what living as a person of trans* experience is like for him.
Ava: So, can you define transgender in your own words?
Kade: Being transgender is when you feel/know that you were born in the wrong body. For example, if you were sexually identified as female at birth, but your brain/you believes you are a male.
A: When did you notice something about you was different?
K: I started to notice that things didn't feel right when I was 8. Of course as an eight year old, I didn't know what transgender was or that it even existed. I pushed it back into my mind, until almost a year ago.
A: If you have, when did you start your transition?
K: Well, I came out around January of 2016, using he/she pronouns. But I eventually started using he/him pronouns and changed my name to one that suits me best (Kade) when it was around February or March. I got my haircut in the beginning of February. Now, I am going to gender therapy, hoping to start taking testosterone in 2017 or 2018.
A: What is one thing you would want other people to understand about transition?
K: Everyone's transition is different. Some people may keep the name they were born with, but still change their pronouns and begin HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) and get surgery. Some people may choose not to get surgery, but change everything else. And some people may choose not to start hormones but do everything else. It all depends on the person.
A: What is the hardest thing about being transgender to you?
K: The hardest thing (for me, this varies by person) is getting my grandparents to understand. I live with them, not my parents, so it's a HUGE generation gap. Also, body dysphoria is really really bad, it can end up ruining my whole day.
A: What do you like about being transgender?
K: What I like is that I don't have to feel alone in my transition. The Transgender community is huge and pretty easy to find. I found a lot of my friends by just searching up "FtM" on Instagram. Everyone's always at different places in their transitions, so a lot of people can help you. :)
A: How can cisgender people help in the battles that transgender people go through?
K: Honestly, cisgender people can help by just supporting. Be friends with someone who's trans, maybe educate people on it (if you have the right knowledge), just accept people for who they are. It's nice for a trans guy or a trans girl to go the day and just kind of forget they're trans. I personally forget when I'm talking to my guy friends because I just feel like "one of the guys."
A: Have you noticed any changes about the acceptance of being trans*? Is this good or bad?
K: I've noticed that people are beginning to become more educated on the topic, thus leading to people being accepting even if they once weren't. A lot more people are starting to come out about them being trans and it's causing quite the change.
A: What is something you would want someone to know about your trans* experience?
K: I want people to know that no transgender person chooses to be transgender. We don't want to be, it's very difficult having to deal with being bullied, disliking your body, dealing with people who don't use your pronouns/name. But, I also want people to know that there is good to it. I've become happier with myself since I came out because I feel like I'm me. This is who I am. :)