In honor of Trans Awareness Week, we asked our staff to share their experiences with being a part of the trans/nonbinary community.
“When Men Were Men” follows a young transmasculine person grappling with his existence in his rural Irish Catholic hometown.
wsteaway (Tea Wise, they/them) is a 21-year-old nonbinary singer, songwriter and producer.
ggggrimes (they/he/she) is a Black non-binary artist from the Bronx, NY. Their work portrays queer people of color living beautiful, colorful, and honest lives, with a focus on trans people.
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) recently announced that the 2022 U.S. Trans Survey (also known as the USTS) is set to launch on October 19th.
The hardest part about being a Brown person who was socialized as a girl was enduring the constant jabs about my hair. I hit puberty at 9, which meant that there were years and years of constant insecurity about my hair. It was too much, too messy, and there was always hair in all the wrong places. The hair on my head was beautiful, thick, and long, but the hair on my body was ugly, thick, and wrong. As a Brown person, my facial and body hair were always under scrutiny, especially because my hair grew at faster rates (and was much thicker) than my other peers. I was tormented for my Frida Kahlo-like brows, for my arms that looked like a werewolf’s, for my body not being up to par with white, cishet beauty standards. One time, my aunt cruelly joked that she was going to gift me money for laser hair removal because the hair on my arms was too much for her.
In July 2021, I decided to revisit my childhood school, Eisenhower Elementary. I decided to go because I had felt so many emotions from the culmination of so many situations, relationships, experiences, and lessons, and I was left with this feeling like I was losing myself. I had recently discovered I was attending UCLA, and much of what was tying me back to the Bay Area was slowly dissipating. The days felt like a blur, like reading the pages in a book and realizing you’ve made it to the end of a chapter and you remember nothing. The sense of liminality and being in a transition plagued me. I was looking for definition from the abstract, something concrete from the abyss.
My dad was, at best, very uncomfortable with queerness before I came out to him. For him, this discomfort stemmed from two prominent aspects of Latino culture: Christianity and machismo. Today, 77% of Latinos in the United States identify as Christian, and traditionally, Christianity has rejected queer people (with some exceptions of more progressive Christian denominations; however, these branches are not predominant in Latino culture).
In the fall, I discussed how internalized homophobia produced complicated feelings about my old middle school’s increasingly progressive attitudes towards queer identities and rising numbers of “out” queer students. I unpacked my slight resentment toward those queer students, who seem to have an easier time exploring their queer identities out in the open since they exist in a less oppressive environment.
I recently saw a play called “Abortion Weekend,” directed, produced, and written by two Black queer creatives, Mareshah Dupree and Jairis Carter. “Abortion Weekend” is exactly what the play is titled: a young pregnant woman and her friend trying to figure out how to induce a miscarriage during the last weekend of the summer.