This is a fabulous essay from Jacob Tobia writing for MTV as part of there Transgender Awareness Week coverage. Here’s an excerpt from the opening paragraphs of this essay. Continue reading this piece by following the link at the bottom of this post.
Like so many genderqueer people, my transition has not been from one gender identity to ‘the other.’
I was stomping around campus in denim booty shorts and five-inch pumps when one of my straight(ish) friends gave me a once over from across the quad. I understood why he did. In fact, it would’ve been strange if he hadn’t, because my legs were looking fine as hell that day and everyone on campus was giving me love.
But then he came up to me with a quizzical expression on his face. “Why don’t you shave your legs, Jacob?” he asked. “I mean they’d look so good if you didn’t have all that hair on them.”
“I dunno,” I responded. “I guess it just seems like a lot of work. I kind of like my hairy legs.”
Years later, after I moved to New York City, I had a strikingly similar conversation. Except this time it wasn’t a fraternity brother who told me that I needed to shave my legs; it was a transgender woman at a community film screening. I was sitting in the row of chairs behind her when she turned around, took one look at me and informed me in a matter-of-fact fashion that I was going to look beautiful after I started taking estrogen because I had gorgeous legs.
But “you should probably start shaving,” she reminded me. “That is, if you really want to show them off.”
It’s interesting. I’m a genderqueer person who was assigned male at birth and likes to rock high heels and lipstick, but in the current moment of visibility for transgender women and men, very few people can seem to get my identity right. Over the past three years, people have gone from assuming I am “really gay” to assuming I identify as a woman. Which, I guess, is part of why everyone has become so obsessed with my leg hair…
Continue reading this piece here at MTV News: