S2 #7 Breaking the Silence Around Gender Dysphoria


(intense music) (calm music) – As an Asian-American
perceived to be a queer woman, you are very much against the
norms of what people think Asian-Americans are
traditionally presented as. So, I would gain some amount of attention just walking into rooms
or in public places. Now, as I am taking testosterone
and my voice is changing, I will have gone from being
perceived as a non-traditional queer woman to being ignored
as a seemingly perceived heterosexual Asian-American guy. That’s going to be really interesting. – So what was it like
growing up as a young, trans, queer person in Irvine? – Irvine was such a very
like, heteronormative, family-oriented place. So, my coming out was
kind of like an organic, multi-step process
where I was 16-years-old and came out as bisexual
and then, as I progressed through college and
started to meet more people and learn more about
the world, I was like, “Actually, I’m lesbian.” – Okay, so you were
coming out multiple times is what I’m hearing.
– Yes. – Yeah, definitely multiple times. I was on the women’s
rowing team in college and was identifying as
bisexual when I first entered that team. By the time I left it, I was a lesbian. – Not related to the team at all? – Ya know what, it might
have been, potentially. Then I moved to New York
and got even more exposed to just ya know, people who
were living their best life by being exactly what they
felt that they needed to be and I was like, “Actually ya know what,” I had this kind of
underlying thought that maybe I haven’t been particularly true to myself or I haven’t been living
in a particular way that I would like to explore. So, I started asking
people to call me by they and them pronouns, especially
people super close to me and found that it really
calmed me and helped me live my best life and one
month and two days ago, I started on testosterone. – Wow, so how has it been going from bi, lesbian to like gender-queer or non-binary to like, this new moment? – To this new moment. It’s really interesting just in terms of how I view my place in
the world especially. – Tell me a little bit more about that. – When I started to want
more people to call me by they-them pronouns, I
tried to bring my office on that journey with me. – How so? – Just by informing
them, letting them know, telling them in the most basic way. A lot of them were friends
with me on Facebook and I did make a Facebook announcement, a Facebook coming out, if you will. – Explain gender dysphoria
to people who may not know what you’re talking about. – The way that I would
describe it is just this kind of disassociation between
how you know you’re perceived and how you feel. – Put that really well actually. Like really, really, really well. I get that the concept,
so what does it normally feel like for you? – For me, it manifests itself mostly from waist up. I get it from feeling as
though people perceive my chest larger than how I feel it should be. So, I wear a binder
pretty much all the time, which PSA, you’re not supposed to do that. So, top surgery is
definitely a thing that I’m working towards, is a goal
that I’m building myself up towards. – What do you normally do
when you’re feeling dysphoric? I know for me, when I’m
dysphoric, I want to see no cis human beings. So I stay in the house usually
when I’m super dysphoric because cis people just
infuriate me on those days. But how do you normally
cope, like I know you’re working on top surgery,
but what is the short term? – (sigh) Wearing my binder
for longer than is necessary usually but, I think a
lot of it is just avoiding the perception of myself or
how I think people perceive me. That seems to alleviate at
least some amount of dysphoria that I feel on particularly bad days. – So, you have navigated
so many different arenas and spaces with yourself
and your identity. What is one thing that
you would want young, trans people to know that are
like just getting out there, just learning how to
advocate for themselves, just learning how to name who they are. What’s one piece of advice
you would like to give them? – God. Find your community, I think. That’s so important. I know that’s such a privileged
thing to say ’cause a lot of trans kids aren’t able to come out and that’s so hard but there
are people out in the world who want to accept you and will accept you and I think it’s so important
to find those people as quickly as possible. If you can find your community,
hold onto those communities and embrace those communities
and become a community for somebody else. – You heard it here first, everyone. Find your community or
build your community and if you can’t do
either of those at home, social media is a great tool
to build those connections. Thanks so much for
joining Jayne and I today. If you have any thoughts or questions, please leave a comment below
and we’ll be sure to respond. Don’t forget to subscribe
to our YouTube channel and follow us on social media. Subtitles by the Amara.org community

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