With Transgender Awareness Week in November, how better to celebrate then with a fab Q&A with activist @youcancallmeaz.
Az has an Instagram platform with a substantial following and aims to spread awareness of transgender rights as well as document his own journey.
He is currently also raising money to afford top surgery, and I would hugely appreciate anybody reading this to go to his Instagram page and see how you can help via donation, etc.
Wren: I would love to know how your experience personally felt, coming to terms with the way you identified, and how important you feel having the open access and option to be provided with hormone treatments/surgery is for people who want and need to transition? If this is too sensitive, or if there is anything you aren’t comfortable sharing that is totally fine!
AZ: Personally, realizing my trans identity was the best & most transformative experience of my life.
This isn’t to say there weren’t hardships, it took me a long time to accept myself, mainly due to internalized transphobia, and as a result my mental health has suffered. But 2 years into my transition I’m feeling better than I ever have been.
When I was a child I was happiest when running topless through fields, unaware of gender. My first memory of dysphoria was when I was 7 & my mother told me it was time I covered up, and was no longer allowed to be topless in public.
Being transgender has allowed me to re-access the childhood version of myself- my truest self. I can appreciate colour, shape & aesthetics, without the intrusion of the gender binary. I can explore myself & experiment.
HRT has literally saved my life. Being able to see myself in the mirror & for the first time feel connected with my reflection, is honestly an indescribable feeling. I am doing something I have never done before, yet something I have always done. & It is GODDAM BEAUTIFUL.
Wren: What do you think could society do more of in terms of normalizing and respecting people’s pronouns and making society a better place for trans people to live amongst?
Az: STOP ASSUMING PRONOUNS BASED ON HOW YOU PERCEIVE SOMEONE’S GENDER IDENTITY.
Society needs to learn that asking & giving pronouns is common place, among not only the LGBTQ+ community but ALL PEOPLE.
Society needs to get better at NORMALIZING the act of giving & asking for pronouns. This can be done easily, by adding them in our social media bios, in our email signatures & in real life situations, ensuring we introduce ourselves to new people with our pronouns. This is the first step to making society an easier place for trans people to survive in.
Wren: What would you say to any person who is struggling with coming out and beginning the journey of transitioning but is afraid?
Az: This is definitely a daunting process. I urge you in this time, to trust your instincts more than ever. Trust that you know yourself & your body better than anybody else does. Take your time with coming out, remember that you don’t need to ever come out if you can’t safely / don’t want to. This experience is yours to own, and you take it in the pace that suits you best. This is for no one else, just for you xx.
I loved chatting with Az, and I truly think that he is an inspiration for current and future transitioning people. We have a very real issue in today’s society of heteronormativity and assumptions of people’s pronouns.
Transitioning and having the option to transition has saved lives. We must do more as allies to trans people to protect and respect them.
For this years Transgender Awareness Week, please keep those who have lost their lives through abuse or death due to being trans in your heart. And go give Az some money!
A big thanks to @youcancallmeaz.