Telling Trans Stories Beyond Born in the Wrong Body

Meredith: Welcome everyone. I’ve gathered us all here to talk about gender dysphoria, and specifically the model that has become the most prevalent in the trans community: that trans people feel like they were born in the wrong body from early childhood. It’s an idea that’s prevalent in a lot of movies and literature, and is also an important way that medical professionals often assess whether to give people access to trans-related medical care. So my first question is, does this model resonate with you? Also, you can introduce yourself and how you identify and your pronouns and all that.

Nico: I’m a gender variant queer fat femme from Brooklyn, my pronouns are he, and they. I don’t identify with the model of having been born in the wrong body in order to be trans. Growing up as a fat queer person, my body has always been something I should not be allowed to identify with, love, or accept. Being trans meant that too. The more I wanted to explore my body, and push the socially imposed boundaries of presentation, the more I was encouraged to explore a hypermasculinity in order to validate myself, my identities and my journey. For me, coming into myself is to unapologetically let myself be what I want to — the radical self-determination and to reclaim the agency over my body, my hair, my voice, and my skin.

Jacob: I’m a genderqueer femme from North Carolina who’s now living in NY and trying to pretend like I’m a city mouse, and my pronouns are they/them. The “traditional” model of trans identity — the idea that trans people have to feel like we’re in the wrong body — really got in the way of me understanding myself as trans. For the longest time, I didn’t think that I counted as trans because I thought you had to hate your body in order to be part of the trans community. Standing in front of the mirror, all on my own, without anyone to judge me, I’m not sure if I’ve ever really had an issue with my body.

Tiq: I identify as a trans man, pronouns he and him. I’m a writer, media maker, and trans rights advocate. The idea that being born in the wrong body seems to be the most commonly used and most simplistic way of explaining the transgender experience, but it never really fit my narrative. I never felt I was born in the wrong body, I just evolved away from it...

He Said, She Said: Privilege Check On I Am Cait


DE: Yeah, I hear you. But overall, wasn't it wonderful seeing #reallivetransadults on this show? Although they only reflected the trans feminine experience, it was good to show cis [non-transgender] viewers we are not all Caitlyn Jenner. And she even explained what cis means this week! In other vocabulary news, she revealed she'd never heard of HRC

TM:  The road trip there was revealing. Solidarity among trans and cis women is key to progress, but Caitlyn’s conservative views are completely off base. The idea that people who utilize social programs are lazy, unmotivated or complacent is classist and racist propaganda that is used to further disenfranchise poor people. 

DE: That was both my fave moment, and also the one in which I cringed the hardest: the look on their faces, the raised eyebrows, the dropped jaws as they heard Cait's honest views on welfare programs and "handouts." Priceless. 

TM: And being cash poor effect intersects with trans identity as well as p.o.c identity more than anything. There are so many factors and "the bubble" that Caitlyn has been in has kept her misinformed about that. 

Read more via The Advocate

Black Girls Only

My contribution to for their November Men's issue is an ode to my wife, my mother, my sister and good girl friends. 

"I absolutely unequivocally adore my Black wife. She's a Trinidadian woman who has introduced me to black peoples and culture throughout the diaspora. We find pockets of commonality and tension in the ancestry we share that has been split abstracted and layered with indigenous people and Africa. She helps me navigate the micro-aggressions I have to deal with on a daily basis with care and patience. I don't have to censor my language or my frustrations because that's my G, for real.  It’s the way she can rock a bone straight sew-in, dookie braids, or her natural curls like a boss. It's her smooth toffee skin and the familiar cackle and cadence in her laugh that I've heard my whole life from the women that raised me; my mother, aunties and sisters. She's the most beautiful and the most amazing woman I know."

Read more at EBONY 
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Connect Boston Summit

The Connect Boston Summit was a great success this year. I had the opportunity to speak on the panel, Surviving & Thriving: A Conversation about Black and Latino Gay, Bisexual, Trans* and Queer Men. The more conversations I'm in about the lgbt communities of color, the more nuanced and layered the conversations become. We're giving a lot of examination to intersectionality and systemic oppression. These communities are becoming more and more aware of the fact that the matrix in which we do our advocacy work, whether advocating for the community or for yourselves is the biggest obstacles. People are starting to look outside of the pathology imposed on the interesecting idenitities that they represent. We're beginning to see that it's not empowerment programs we need; we need a completely paradigm shift in the culture.


We discussed internalized racism and homophobia in the medical system and how it manifests into apathetic and treatment that lacks cultural competency and compassion. We were able to examine how living in oppressive systems affects self esteem and ones relationship to themselves. These conversations are fresh and new and nuanced is exactly what we need to affect long term sustainable change.