An Interview With Chloe, A 20-Year-Old Transgender Woman

An Interview With Chloe, A 20-Year-Old Transgender Woman

Recently, I sat down with Chloe and asked her some questions about her experiences.
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I had the chance of sitting down and asking questions to a good friend of mine.

Chloe, 20, has taken the time to sit down and answer some questions about her time as a transgender woman. All questions and answers are taken direct from conversation and have not been altered. Chloe asked me to include this comment from her in the beginning of the article:

I just want it on the record that I'm very privileged to be in the situation that I am given the general acceptance of the average stranger in my area as well as the overwhelming support of friends and family that I have received.


What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Chloe and I am from Massachusetts.

Since transitioning, how are your relationships with your friends and loved ones?

They're basically the same, fortunately. If anything a little easier because I'm not hiding anything from them.

What have you found to be the biggest obstacle you have faced since you have come out?

Self confidence issues at the start was probably the biggest thing. I was super uncomfortable presenting myself as female, to the point of not going out in order to avoid people. At this point I'm comfortable to a point that I couldn't care less how random people see me.

If you could have everyone in a room who is fighting against the LGBTQ+ community, what would you say to them?

I'm just a person. I don't really have anything to say.

Have you ever faced discrimination?

Fortunately enough, very infrequently. The most common thing that I have had happen is just people getting pronouns wrong at work or in other public situations. There was one time that I was in Boston getting food with a bunch of friends. I was talking about makeup with one of them while we were walking to the train station, I guess kind of loud. It was either the volume or the way I was presenting myself that a man passing by decided to inform me that, "you know you're a man, right?". It made me feel uncomfortable and unsafe. I was mostly worrying about getting out of the situation and away from him. I felt a safety in numbers, but none of them heard it so I didn't get to talk it through with them for support.

How has your life changed since your transition?

It hasn't much. I'm on more drugs *chuckles* and it takes me a lot longer to get ready to do anything. There have been some small things that I have noticed about the way people treat different genders. When I was a guy, and I'll just say it: I have monster eyebrows, people frequently offered to pluck them for me. Since transitioning, no one has offered and I would really appreciate if they did. I hate doing my eyebrows, it hurts. People are a lot friendlier in the women's bathroom. In the men's room it was taboo to even look in the general direction of another human, whereas the women's room tends to be more compliment-y. People are nicer in general. I don't know if it's a female thing or a "ooo I need to be nice to the trans person", but the vast majority of people in my area are accepting and way nicer.

What is a common misconception about transgender people?

That it's a new thing. I'm not really familiar with the misconceptions but I guess that's kind of something. It's just become more accepted in the past, however many years, but it's been a thing for much longer.

Do you have any advice to give to those who are struggling with their gender identity?

Seeing a therapist is important. It helps things get straightened out for you. I didn't know what I was before I saw one, but they helped me through figuring it out. It wasn't my thing, but try and find a support group or some other community, whether it be in person or online. It helps to know that there are other people out there. Also, Just do you.

Do you have any advice to friends and family members who are looking to give support to a loved one who has just come out?

Don't question who they are. If they are genuinely coming out to you, they have been thinking about this for the past however long and questioning or denying them that is a dick move. Work on getting pronouns right and not dead-naming (calling them by their birth name if they have picked a new one).

What are your plans for the future?

I'm hoping to graduate college, get a job, travel, and just live life.

Cover Image Credit: Bustle

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Sorry Not Sorry, My Parents Paid For My Coachella Trip

No haters are going to bring me down.
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With Coachella officially over, lives can go back to normal and we can all relive Beyonce’s performance online for years to come. Or, if you were like me and actually there, you can replay the experience in your mind for the rest of your life, holding dear to the memories of an epic weekend and a cultural experience like no other on the planet.

And I want to be clear about the Beyonce show: it really was that good.

But with any big event beloved by many, there will always be the haters on the other side. The #nochella’s, the haters of all things ‘Chella fashion. And let me just say this, the flower headbands aren’t cultural appropriation, they’re simply items of clothing used to express the stylistic tendency of a fashion-forward event.

Because yes, the music, and sure, the art, but so much of what Coachella is, really, is about the fashion and what you and your friends are wearing. It's supposed to be fun, not political! Anyway, back to the main point of this.

One of the biggest things people love to hate on about Coachella is the fact that many of the attendees have their tickets bought for them by their parents.

Sorry? It’s not my fault that my parents have enough money to buy their daughter and her friends the gift of going to one of the most amazing melting pots of all things weird and beautiful. It’s not my fault about your life, and it’s none of your business about mine.

All my life, I’ve dealt with people commenting on me, mostly liking, but there are always a few that seem upset about the way I live my life.

One time, I was riding my dolphin out in Turks and Cacaos, (“riding” is the act of holding onto their fin as they swim and you sort of glide next to them. It’s a beautiful, transformative experience between human and animal and I really think, when I looked in my dolphin’s eye, that we made a connection that will last forever) and someone I knew threw shade my way for getting to do it.

Don’t make me be the bad guy.

I felt shame for years after my 16th birthday, where my parents got me an Escalade. People at school made fun of me (especially after I drove into a ditch...oops!) and said I didn’t deserve the things I got in life.

I can think of a lot of people who probably don't deserve the things in life that they get, but you don't hear me hating on them (that's why we vote, people). Well, I’m sick of being made to feel guilty about the luxuries I’m given, because they’ve made me who I am, and I love me.

I’m a good person.

I’m not going to let the Coachella haters bring me down anymore. Did my parents buy my ticket and VIP housing? Yes. Am I sorry about that? Absolutely not.

Sorry, not sorry!

Cover Image Credit: Kaycie Allen

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Toilets Or Trees – Where Should Transgender People Go?

Controversy Over Bathrooms
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Using the bathroom comes with a new set of concerns in the 21st century.

Recent increase of transgender presence in the media has introduced changes to the traditional standards of using gendered bathrooms in public places.

Many public locations nation-wide including public office buildings, universities, restaurants, and hotels have installed gender-neutral bathrooms or have established in-house policies that permit people to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity. Among them is Pace University in New York, whose campus policy states that the school “allows individuals to use a sex-specific restrooms and/or locker room facilities that correspond to their gender identity and/or legal sex.”

Pace University Pleasantville student who requested to be identified under the pseudonym John Doe identifies with the transgender community and appreciates this policy stating that having access to gender-neutral bathrooms lowers his fears of being harassed.

“Currently I cannot use male restrooms because I am lacking the proper ‘equipmemt.’ So, a gender-neutral bathroom helps because I can walk into it without affirming that I am afab,” he said, explaining “afab” is an acronym used to describe someone “assigned female at birth.”

He described feeling uncomfortable with using the women’s restroom, but felt it was healthier to use it than not. “I have a narrow focus of pee and get out. Don’t make eye contact, don’t talk,” he said.

Though Doe worries about conservatives “throwing hissy fits,” he hopes that this policy will expand to other places and bathrooms be “more accessible to everyone” without limitations in public nor private sectors.

The debate over bathroom access started in the 1990s, but it took the forefront once again in 2016 in light of the battle over transgender rights. The conversation reawakened upon the passing of legislation that restricted access to transgender people in Mississippi and North Carolina, according to the CNN.

The debate continued into 2017 when President of the United States Donald J. Trump rescinded protections that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity, the New York Times reported.

The public is still divided over this issue, however, as gender-neutral bathroom accessibility affects those who identify as cisgender or heterosexual differently, with different concerns taking the stage.

Janelis Pujols, an elementary school teacher in the Bronx expresses that while she believes having gender-neutral bathrooms can be “convenient” and people should have accessibility to them, both for transgender and cisgender people, the topic does raise a safety concern for her in the event she encounters a transgender person in the same bathroom.

“That might be uncomfortable because I don’t know what I’m walking into. Is that a male or female in the bathroom with me?,” she said.

Still, she believes that in case of a bathroom emergency, it shouldn’t matter, saying “If you got to go [to the bathroom] by the nearest tree, you got to go. Am I going to put a sign on the tree ‘men,’ ‘women,’ ‘transgender?’ No. I got to go.”

Cover Image Credit: Paul Green via unsplash

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