Trans Awareness


*whip crack, throat clears, hinges creaks* Lindsey: This is my dear friend, Acton. Acton would you like to introduce yourself to YouTube? Acton: *laughs* Hi, I’m Acton, um, I’m Lindsey Doe’s friend. I am Lindsey: *whispers* Yes! Acton: an out trans guy and, uh, yeah. Lindsey: Do you want to define transgender? Acton: No, I mean that’s… Lindsey: *laughs* What!? Acton: *laughs* I’m like, no. Uh, when people usually ask me that, “what does transgender mean?” It’s essentially my experience of uh, being born a woman and feeling, uh, really misplaced and, uh, feeling very, very, very, I don’t want to say hopeless but, just really at odds with a lot of parts of my life. Personally uncomfortable, physically uncomfortable, and then sort of just deciding that I was gonna make a change because I didn’t want to feel that way anymore. It was a huge focal point and then I had this job and my roommate was like, “So you’re going to tell them that you’re taking testosterone, right?” and I was like *deep breath* “Yeah I guess so,” ’cause my roommate at the time was like, she’s like there’s, they’re going to ask you why you’re, why you have a cold all the time *laughs* and… Lindsey: Going through puberty. Acton: Why are you going through puberty, and why do you have facial hair and see that concept I just like to say that estrogen and testosterone are amazing things. You start taking testosterone, you start growing hair in uncomfortable places, twelve year old boy ‘stache. Lindsey: You’re rocking an awesome beard. Acton: Thank you, thank you very much. My mom had a really, really hard time with it. You know, when I got done telling her, she like, “I’m not gonna talk to you for a little while,” and I was like, “Well do you want me to call you, like are you…” She’s like “No, no, no, I don’t want you to call me. I’ll call you, like I just need not to talk to you right now” and she didn’t talk to me for a long time, like we’re not talking about a year but it was a good chunk of time where I was like, “Oh god, like my mom’s never going to talk to me again,” and then my dad was kinda like “Well what the hell?” It occurs to me later on that like, both my parents were not so much mad at me about transitioning and wanting to live my life the way that I’ve chosen, they were so consumed by what they had done wrong. Lindsey: *yells* It’s not about you other people! *both laughs* Acton: I mean there’s that, they’re like, they literally were just like “How do we fix this?” You know it took a few conversations talking about like, this isn’t something that you fix, like you cannot fix this. So, those were good conversations. At least they talk to me now, it’s totally fine. I love those guys a lot. Lindsey: That’s great. Acton: So, my boss is this big, big white dude, he use to be an ex-cop. He’s sitting at his desk and I march right up there and I’m thinking ok just prepare for the worst. Just prepare to lose this job because that’s gonna be ok and I’m standing there and I just sort of verbally spew all over his desk, about how I’m trans and I want to live my life as a dude. I would like it if you called me by this name and used male pronouns and my boss just sort of looks at me. He looks up at me and he’s just like, horrified, he’s like, horrified and I’m like here it comes and he says, “What?” and I’m like “What?” and he says, “No really, what? I totally did not just here what you said, what?” *quiet laugh* So I take a deep breath and I have to repeat myself and he’s still looking at me, horrified like, it’s just like his mind’s like being blown or something like that and I’m like oh my god this dude’s going to pick me up and throw me out the door. I just know it. And all he says is, “Are you happy?” Lindsey: *quietly* Aw. Acton: and I was like “Well yeah.” He’s like, “That’s all I need to know” and he never once messed up my pronoun and he’s never once messed up my name. I know, I know that stories is not a common story like, I don’t think people experience a lot of that but I was really thankful. Lindsey: You’ve done an amazing thing for yourself and I’m glad that you’re sharing it with us. Acton: Thank you very much. Lindsey: You’re welcome. Thanks for joining me and Acton for Trans Awareness week. I hope you understand that this process goes beyond this one solitary week and that you continue to stay curious.

99 comments

  1. this is great! it would be great if you could make a video about nonbinary identities as well because nonbinary is a form of transgender!

  2. @sexplanations 
    i know I could just google it … but could you explain the surgical process, both male to female and vice versa , im too lazy  😀

  3. I'm a straight male who is a male on the inside and out … but with a baby face, almost no facial hair, and a high voice….

    Can I take extra testosterone?

  4. I'm noticing a lot of comments saying things like "born a gender" and some doing amab and afab. I use the amab afab because I wasn't born a gender. Nobody is, to me. Gender is assigned by society. So I was assigned male at birth. 
    Note, Acton prefers to use the former I guess from this short video, which should be respected.

  5. I love all of these videos. They've been helping me keep a pretty positive mindset on the world around me as well as informed.

    But her face was like O________O the first half of the vid. Just thought it was funny. I also have trans-gender friends and we get along great. :]

  6. Great insightful video. Why does it seem that ftm transsexuals seem to be more accepted over a period of time than what I've observed in mtf transsexuals?
    Is it the male centric so ciao order that says "a guy becoming a gal is perverted" where a female/ guy isnt? This may or may not be a PC question but it just seems from my observations of those around me.

  7. Hey Dr. Doe, I recently learned three girls in my life (ages 9, 13 and 16) don't know what their cervix is. So I'm guessing they need some serious education starting from the ground up. Of course you were the first person I thought of to help. I'm going to send them your YouTube channel but for the future, it would be really nice if you had some playlists organized. You have a nice mix of videos and I would like to be able to say to them "start with the Basics playlist" almost like a curriculum so they don't jump right into watching "Polyamory" before they've watched "Flirting".

    Thanks for being awesome and making these videos 🙂

  8. Can someone explain this video to me? I feel like I've jumped a class or something.
    What is "Taking testosterone"?
    When Acton says "born a women" does he mean born a women mentally or born a women physically since I cannot trust appearance in this case.
    And for the love of god please respond in a polite manner that wishes to educate someone who does not know everything about the subject? If you are gonna jump on your highhorse calling me a bigot or transphobic or "STUPID CISSCUM!" then I will go frustrated and not want to learn more about it. I want to learn, not be nagged at how I'm oppressing you merely by existing.

  9. I would absolutely think he (he!) is a guy 100% if I wasn't aware he was trans.  Or more accurately (since he is a guy!) I wouldn't know he was born a woman.  Kudos to people like this who can live their life as a much more truer self.  Pronouns aren't an issue when the person you're speaking to looks like and sounds like a man (etc).  For most people, it's what you see is what you get – and if you are ever in doubt or afraid to offend a person, use "they" instead of he or she until you can politely ask them what they prefer.

  10. CONGREGATION BETH AHAVA!!!!! i'm just excited that he's wearing a synagogue shirt. 

    My synagogue has a transgendered man in our congregation. Him and his wife are pretty darn cool.

  11. Quite liked the part Acton mentioned about the retired cop.

    "Are ya happy?"

    Surely that's what it should be about. I tip my hat to ye.

  12. Im on T and seeing guys with beards and stuff from T makes me hopeful i really want  a beard soooo bad like really bad that and to wake up with out my chesticles

  13. Wow. If I were to pass by Acton on the street, I would have never expected him to be trans. He just looks like a normal dude to me.

  14. ok. I don't know if this is considered naive, dumb, insulting or whatever but I don't really care, I don't think I could ask this to anybody so … What happens to their genitals (if anything?) ? Like, how does it work?

  15. I love this if for no other reason than Acton is not the usual face for transmen, it usually a white dude and I think it's important to remind people that for many people of color their race or ethnicity is an important aspect of their identity.

  16. I have a question related to trans* issues. I'm a biosex female, and while I don't identify at all as being male or transsexual, I am trans/gender/, and I feel that I would be more accurately myself if I were intersexed rather than female-bodied, especially/mostly in the genital and reproductive department. … Is this is thing? What do I do about it?

  17. how did I end up in this video? Transgender is very distrubing, that dude looks like a dude and yet he was born a she. Too much to handle I quit.

  18. I have a good friend that is of the female gender and is currently struggling with starting to trans to a guy. But he doesn't want his family to find out about it and is just generally having a difficult time. How can I help?

  19. Amazing. Just looking at you, one would never know you used to be genetically a woman. respectful applause It's also amazing that you haven't had a hard time with your transition. I hope that you are able to stay happy being who you truly are 🙂

  20. Do transmen (ftm) who have not gotten bottom surgery whether it is because they don't want it or haven't yet and are taking T, do these men still have to go to the gynecologist if they still have vaginas? Or what doctor do they go to?

  21. Tough guy. I am kinda jealous at that beard, but I will let that slide on the count of it belonging to an awesome dude.

  22. Hmmm, good to know that even people born without a Y chromosome can grow a much better beard than me.
    I joke but genuine question- if these chaps are taking testosterone to change gender does anyone know if this has implications for sporting endeavours etc? I.e. if they went into a weight lifting competition would that be an issue or is the dose supposed to be tailored to a similar testosterone level of an average male?

  23. I am very alarmed.
    I would have never guessed that this man was born a woman. Wow, technology has come far.
    And he is a pretty attractive man too. Has he gone though any surgeries, or just testosterone?  This amazes me. Good for him.

  24. why did this not pop up when it was uplaoded !? i just saw it on a random FB post, gee, hes so awesome, its allmost like how i told my entire college class ;;_;;

  25. Just wanted to let you know I featured this video on Upworthy! http://u.pw/1yQdZun Thanks for doing this series for trans awareness week! A few people have asked how to get in touch with Acton on social media. Please let me know if he has a Twitter or blog I can share with our audience. Thanks so much! 

  26. I have absolutely no problem with people changing sex. It is totally up them, and why would they care what I think anyway. 

    I will add one thing though. My wife had a guy working for her who became a women. She was my wife's "gay friend," so I would meet him quite a few times if I caught up with my wife while still with her work friends, or whatever. 

    Now here's the "thing," I think the difficulty is that this guy did not look like a women, despite all he operations and everything else. In the UK, by the way, a person becomes completely legally the other sex. My wife runs a company that cares for the elderly in their homes, showers and cooks for them. So obviously this now women had to take care of very elderly women, who were sick despite looking like a guy in a dress. Some obviously became upset at being naked in their homes and so forth being washed but what completely looked like a guy in make up.  

    I'm not sure what anyone does with that story apart from the fact it highlights that most people who change sex, everyone around are simply looking at someone who still clearly looks like the other sex.

    This guy looks like a guy so it is not an issue. But my wife's friend is clearly a guy and I don't ware what anyone thinks when we are out as it is my wife's friend and anyway who cares who has a problem. 

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is the change is nor usually complete. I don't feel like I'm with two women. i feel  like I'm with a women, my wife and a a women who used to be a guy and still looks like this is the case. If the guy is happy fine, but there isn't really a transition in people's eye.

     

  27. I'm a bio male and I can't grow a beard like that. I'm jealous XD

    Thanks a lot for sharing your story Acton and thanks to Lindsey for bringing him on the show.

  28. I'm sure Acton (what was his female name) is very well aware  that if his boss said ANYTHING about his decision the company would be hit with a huge lawsuit. Just explain to me, how as a woman you knew you were really a man. Having never been a man how could you know what it's like. I've never been a whale but could it be I was supposed to be one?
    Love his shirt, Congregation Beth Ahavah, which translates as House of Love. I imagine regular synagogues aren't houses of love.

  29. Can you make a video about the process of changing gender and the different levels there are? (surgery, drugs, more surgery, sexuality, reproduction…)

  30. Look, I am real happy for the guy and all, but why do I, a born male 33yo guy have hardly any facial hair and this guy is rocking a proper beard! SO JEALLY! Hormones I hate you! Especially you testosterone, you're the worst!

  31. My sister is trans and a lot of people who know still use male pronouns. I feel like they're not even trying. I asked my sister about it and she said she doesn't mind, but I still think it sucks.

  32. … yea, I would have never been able to figure out that he was trans if it were not stated in the title.

  33. So just out of curiosity would you claim that transexual people are born trans, or make the choice to be trans? Because I dont really understand how there can be both

  34. I don't want to be politically incorrect and I certainly don't want to offend anyone in making this comment. But when I started watching this video I couldn't believe this person was transgender. I thought that he HAS to be someone born male, who was early on in his transition to become a female. No way can this be a female who transitioned to male, he's just too masculine. Not only is this gentleman "passing" but he is a very handsome individual and I wish him all the very best in life.

  35. "I am a privileged first worlder and grew up without worry yet I don't feel special enough, oh I know, I will just decide that I am a special snowflake and a trans-asian dolphin-kin"

    This is all I'm getting from this video.
    People who make their gender part of their identity are truly the most pathetic thing to come out of America, UK and Canada.

  36. I'm amab. I am generally happy with being masculine, but I wish I didn't have male genitals. I'm actually really unhappy having a penis, but like being masculine. What am I?

  37. I teared up when Acton said his boss never messed up his pronouns and name. Like, it seems like such a small thing, but that one gesture goes a huge way in showing me, a trans person, that you not only want to respect and validate me, but you want me to FEEL respected and validated. And so you just make sure I feel that way. It IS a small thing to do, but it has BIG, positive consequences.

  38. Thank you so much for this video!!! The only way people can begin to understand is if they hear experiences. Like, as many different experiences as possible. I don't think I have ever met anyone going through something like this, or at least I've never had a conversation with someone openly experiencing a transition or any kind of gender identity confusion. But I do believe it's important to support anyone who feels this affects them. So videos like this help me to understand and accept this concept which to me is quite abstract.
    So thank you so much for sharing!!

  39. I'd be more scared about telling the excop than my parents. I haven't had great experiences that involved cops. I'm glad he didn't hurt you, and that your experience was pleasant!!! 🙌🏾

  40. people really do need to understand that as long as they're not hurting anyone and it makes them happy, they should live their lives the way they want to.

  41. My band director recently started calling me by my preferred name and preferred pronouns, with no questions asked. When he'd call out in the box, "Mark! Move a little towards Max so you don't get run over!" I remember tearing up, feeling so grateful.

    What people really disregard about trans rights and transgenders in general is that it really isn't about them. Parents and friends and teachers and bosses with transgender relations need to understand it is not about them. It sounds selfish but it's about comfort and understanding that while if being trans is a mental illness or not, it should be your job as a parent, a friend, a partner, etc. to make them feel as comfortable as they are able to, even if you don't understand it.

    Lovely video. 🙂

  42. I've had a fair number of people who ask if I'm happy, and that's what they need to know. It's sad that we have to worry about the "wrong" people knowing. That I can live without the people around me knowing if they don't know me? I feel great about looking how I want to look, but it's sad that being passable is just as much to avoid harassment as it is about feeling good.

    In some places, even in the US, it can be much worse than harassment. I'm not sure I can ever travel again without checking that the place I'm going to is safe from LGBT directed violence.

  43. I had one of those damn shemales in a bar ask me if he could give me a blowjob. So I beat the living hell out of him……..

    as soon as he finished with the blowjob.

  44. Don't expect the worst, at least not from non religious people who genuinely love or care about you. A lot of us would be much more supportive than you expect, but you've got to open up first! At least give us a chance to love and support you!

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