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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37 Things Growing Up in the South Taught You

Where the tea is sweet, but the people are sweeter.
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1. The art of small talking.
2. The importance of calling your momma.
3. The beauty of sweet tea.
4. How to use the term “ma'am” or “sir” (that is, use it as much as possible).
5. Real flowers are way better than fake flowers.
6. Sometimes you only have two seasons instead of four.
7. Fried chicken is the best kind of chicken.
8. When it comes to food, always go for seconds.
9. It is better to overdress for Church than underdress.
10. Word travels fast.
11. Lake days are better than beach days.
12. Handwritten letters never go out of style.
13. If a man doesn’t open the door for you on the first date, dump him.
14. If a man won’t meet your family after four dates, dump him.
15. If your family doesn’t like your boyfriend, dump him.
16. Your occupation doesn’t matter as long as you're happy.
17. But you should always make sure you can support your family.
18. Rocking chairs are by far the best kind of chairs.
19. Cracker Barrel is more than a restaurant, it's a lifestyle.
20. Just 'cause you are from Florida and it is in the south does not make you Southern.
21. High School football is a big deal.
22. If you have a hair dresser for more than three years, never change. Trust her and only her.
23. The kids in your Sunday school class in third grade are also in your graduating class.
24. Makeup doesn’t work in the summer.
25. Laying out is a hobby.
26. Moms get more into high school drama than high schoolers.
27. Sororities are a family affair.
28. You never know how many adults you know 'til its time to get recommendation letters for rush.
29. SEC is the best, no question.
30. You can't go wrong buying a girl Kendra Scotts.
31. People will refer to you by your last name.
32. Biscuits and gravy are bae.
33. Sadie Robertson is a role model.
34. If it is game day you should be dressed nice.
35. If you pass by a child's lemonade stand you better buy lemonade from her. You're supporting capitalism.
36. You are never too old to go home for just a weekend… or just a meal.
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Cover Image Credit: Grace Valentine

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Respect And Celebrate Different Identities

Just because you don't think it's "normal" doesn't mean you can disrespect it.

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I've always believed "respect is earned, not given" to be utter BS, but that's even more true when it comes to how people identify. June is LGBT+ Pride Month, which means you're going to be hearing about a lot of different identities (gender- and orientation-wise) that you've probably never heard of.

Please, for the sake of everyone involved, don't be an ass if you don't understand what they identify as. At one point, everyone has questioned an identity that they came across (and if you say you haven't, I'm going to say you're lying). Do that in your head, but be respectful to the person.

I've been online for years, and I'm guilty of bashing people's identities because I thought they were "weird" and didn't fully understand them. Guess what? I recognize that as being a horrible thing to do and have since matured.

It costs you nothing to be respectful.

When I see an identity I don't fully understand, I either ask the person about it (respectfully) or shrug it off because it's none of my business. The most it affects me is when it comes to their preferred name and pronouns, but even that isn't a big deal. It won't end my life if I call someone by a set of pronouns I don't understand.

Now, I'm not saying to not ask questions out of fear of being disrespectful; I'm saying to not be a total jerk when asking.

When in doubt, ask them about it. "Hey, can you explain what ____ means?" is a very different way to start a conversation than "I've never heard of ____ and think it's gross/wrong, so it doesn't exist."

The worst possible thing you can do is tell someone their identity doesn't exist. That pretty much tells the person that they don't exist, which is really just a dick move.

Because, again, what does it cost you to be respectful?

That's right, nothing.

Their identity doesn't hurt you in any way. Them being gay or trans or somewhere in the middle or both literally does you no harm. Respecting them does you no harm.

You may not understand if someone identifies as a "non-binary pansexual they/them," but they know full well what it means. That's all that matters. All you have to do is respect them and call them what they want to be called rather than what you think they should be called.

Nobody knows someone better than they know themselves.

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