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.