A Trans Story
“I never went to high school, I just kind of appeared and have been functioning as an adult ever since,” said Taylor. “I definitely fell to earth.”
Taylor is a 25-year-old trans woman living in Washington, D.C. For the purposes of this article, she preferred to go under the pseudonym “Taylor” for her own protection due to an abusive relationship while she was living in Richmond, Virginia.
She’s not hiding, she’s private.
The anonymity only adds to her character. Taylor thinks of her life as a woman now as completely separate from her earlier years as a man. “It’s like black and white how different my life is,” said Taylor. “He was a separate person. I’m a completely new individual, I think. That’s how I rationalize it to myself now. It feels like so long ago and a lifetime away.”
Taylor’s story is one of radical rebirth. She’s 25, but her existence as Taylor marks the beginning of her life after coming out as trans at age 18. By her logic, she’s a seven-year-old woman who fell to earth. She compares her transition to getting a new set of eyes.
“It’s like having human eyes and then mantis shrimp eyes,” said Taylor. “You know how they can see millions of more colors? It’s like that. I straight up did not know I had that many emotions in me at any given moment and I definitely didn’t know that they could change if I just let myself feel them.”
Taylor takes hormones and will be doing so for the rest of her life. While she resents the arbitrary hoops to jump through and waiting periods prior to getting the hormones, ultimately, she was able to get the medication. The hormones changed Taylor in ways she didn’t expect.
“I knew I liked women, and, being on hormones, let me be emotionally honest, I am kind of attracted to guys sometimes,” said Taylor. “But wow, that’s a thing, my sexuality changed just a little bit. It’s set in stone, but now I have female hormones coursing through my veins and so now my brain responds to male pheromones so sometimes I’ll be like ‘mmm, guy smell.’ It was very weird.”
With the hormones, Taylor had to unlearn years of her behaviors she learned as a man. Her emotions are in glorious technicolor now, a psychedelic maelstrom of feelings hitherto unknown to her. Whereas before she only felt one emotion – anger – she now feels them all. “Sometimes they can change quickly but then it’s like, ‘oh wait, I was just on my period,’” said Taylor. “Which also, I get those [periods]. Not necessarily all of it, but I get bloated and then I get horny and then I get hungry and I cry.”
She also lost a considerable amount of weight in the last six months which she credits to “the power of crop tops.”
Taylor, who plays the drums, remembers the moment that everything changed for her. She was in a drum lesson when her instructor showed her a song called “The Ocean” by punk band “Against Me.”
The second verse proved especially meaningful: “If I could have chosen, I would have been born a woman. My mother once told me she would have named me Laura.”
Shortly thereafter, the singer of “Against Me” came out as trans and has since been known as Laura Jane Grace. Grace’s public coming out garnered her quite a bit of attention, and awakened something in Taylor.
“I think it would’ve been inevitable because it was getting to the point where it was like, ‘I’m miserable, I can’t articulate it, but something’s up,’” said Taylor. “I’m different somehow and it’s not because I’m not straight. And then Laura Jane Grace came out and I was like, ‘wait, you can do that?’”
And so, Taylor was born anew – a woman out rose out of the ashes of an 18-year-old boy.
“Looking back, if I had the language, I probably would’ve transitioned when I was 15 but I didn’t. And, I was also not in a place emotionally where I was ready to ask for help. Honestly, I’m just getting to the point in my life where I can ask for help and be vulnerable a little bit.”
When it comes to others’ tolerance, Taylor says that she gets the most trouble from overly supportive people. Being a private person, Taylor doesn’t like when people overtly voice their support for the LGBTQ+ community, outing her in the process. “Society just hasn’t caught up to it being weird,” said Taylor.
Her penchant for anonymity is deliberate. While living in Richmond, Taylor found herself in an abusive relationship which changed her perspective and she modified her behavior to be less “loud and proud.” In her D.C. neighborhood, a trans woman was recently murdered, and so Taylor would rather just live as a woman, and not a trans one.
Around the time Taylor came out, she also dropped out of school. Transitioning was hard enough, and doing it publicly in a university setting only made it more difficult. Her metamorphosis was hers to own, and college – a terrarium for self-discovery – didn’t facilitate that. “I just wasn’t ready to be that vulnerable, that publicly,” said Taylor, “like visually very vulnerable as I transitioned in a school environment.”
Fortunately for Taylor, her parents were accepting of her decision and she remains close with them. However, playing the drums never quite came back to her. Music proved to be too emotional, she says.
Taylor lives with a form of survivor’s guilt – guilt that things worked out for her but don’t work out as well for others in her situation. “I’m not naive. I know that some people won’t be able to look as ‘passing,’” said Taylor. “I hate that word. I know that not everybody is going to have the same situation, the same transition as I do. So, I have this weird sense of survivor’s guilt because I have the ability to just be like a ‘normal chick.’ I have that survivor’s guilt but I also love myself, so I’m kind of not letting it get me down, I guess.”
And so, Taylor lives on in Washington, D.C., the woman who fell to earth. She loves herself, her body, her life, her friends, and her girlfriend. She works at two concert venues and was even doing live concert lighting for the first time on the day of the interview.
Somewhere in our nation’s capital lives a 25-year-old woman with no past, and she’s loving life.
“I’ve got to say, being a chick fucking rules,” said Taylor. “The sexism sucks, but I wouldn’t trade any of this for the world.”