One of the people I’ve been blessed to have in my life, Astrid, a beautiful 21-year-old with a fantastic sense of humor, unrelenting loyalty, more faith in humanity than most deserve, and gives until it hurts, then gives a little bit more. She’s a wonderful person. And this amazing young person is also a self-described transfemale. I recently had the chance to ask her a few questions, so I’d like you all to meet this beautiful young woman, so you can love her just as much as I do!
AmazinglyDisgraced: Firstly, Astrid, thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed and written about, and thank you in advance for being so open! Now, digging right in, how old were you when you first experienced body dysphoria?
Astrid: I’d say age 10. I felt like I wasn’t in the right body, and I didn’t connect with my genitalia, because when I saw it, it looked disturbing and awkward on my body, it didn’t belong there. My body felt foreign to me in the worst way possible, when I saw myself in the mirror my reflection would have a woman’s face on it, and the body never matched and as I got older the stress and confusion, it destroyed my self-esteem my confidence.
AD: When did you “come out”, and what were the responses like from your closest family and friends?
Astrid: Just after my 21st Birthday. My family shrugged it off, though not in a bad way. After everything, they don’t seem to mind. It’s like nothing changed; there is another girl in the house, not a guy. My friends just had questions, and in the end they accepted it and tried their best to use the correct pronouns.
AD: Thank you, again, for being remarkably open and honest.
Astrid: It’s not a problem.
AD: Have you had public experiences in “traditionally” feminine appearance/attire/etc? If so, can you describe some of these experiences?
Astrid: That I have done a few times. I realized most people didn’t care, and I tried a more feminine voice. It made me really happy. I remember the first place I went was the gas station and I don’t think anyone noticed. There was one time when someone did notice that I wasn’t “female” and they kinda just laughed and walked on their way. That was a peaceful clocking but they aren’t always like that so I stopped presenting female because I didn’t want to take the risk of getting hurt.
AD: The first part of that, where you said that it made you really happy, that made me smile. I’m sorry that you didn’t feel safe enough to exist as who you are. Now, along those lines, do you plan to transition, and if so, what steps, if any, have you taken toward that goal?
Astrid: I do plan on transitioning, hopefully taking one of the first major steps, hormones, very soon. Any steps already? I mean I’ve done my research about like experiences and expectations of hormones or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). And I’ve started to grow my hair out and gonna schedule a laser hair removal session soon. I hope to do the HRT through Planned Parenthood. It’s a super easy process as far as I know and it’s incredibly affordable.
AD: Planned Parenthood offers these services? How did you hear about that?
Astrid: Yeah, and a whole lot of other services. I actually just looked it up because I knew they did HRT just not in my state but it turns out, there is one here that does, and it’s pretty close as well.
AD: That’s really awesome! I truly had no idea they offered HRT services, and I’m a supporter of theirs. Astrid, if you had one message to other trans people, who are afraid to “come out”, what would you say?
Astrid: The thing that flashed through my mind right before I came out was that I was tired of living almost in a jail cell because I despised my body and hated the social norms of male; I felt better when I put on bras and dresses and jeans, tops, the whole nine yards. Makeup always captivated me. What I’m trying to say is that I’d lied for too long about the real me, the one I’m comfortable with… Astrid. And once I did it, I felt relief. Like I was carrying a car on my shoulders and it finally got towed off. There will be a time when you know you’re ready.
AD: Beautiful. I love that. And, one message for society, as a whole, with regards to some of the views on trans people, what would that be?
Astrid: Doesn’t everyone deserve to be happy about who they are? I mean really, fuck genders, why can’t we all just be human beings? I only use female pronouns because that’s who I best see myself as, because of the definition we gave the word female. I don’t give a crap what anyone calls me anymore. I will get the body I want no matter what people say about it. That last part sounded an awful lot like someone working out in a gym and gaining muscle. They have the same mentality; why can’t I have a feminine body if they can have a muscular body?
AD: I agree with you. I think that works perfectly. Here’s one, just for fun: how did you decide on the name Astrid, and what does it mean to you?
Astrid: I’ve always had that name in my mind, like before even seeing it anywhere. The first time I saw the name was in a book called The Zone or something. It was the lead character’s name and she was amazing. She was a leader and fighter, but also down to earth and giggly. It reminded me of my self and who I am as a person. Like, I’m super shy, but I know when to put my foot down. The name sounded cute to me, and unique; it’s not that common.
AD: Well, I think it’s a beautiful name, and suits you! My last question. Is there anything you want to say that I haven’t touched on, but you’d like to have included in this piece?
Astrid: I can’t think of anything else, really.
AD: That’s okay! You’ve been awesome.
Astrid: It’s not a problem. I’m not shameful about it anymore.
AD: Thank you again. I really appreciate your honesty.
To see if Planned Parenthood provides HRT and/or other trans specific services, please contact your local Planned Parenthood location. To find the location nearest you, click here or call 1-800-230-PLAN.
For a list of other resources for trans people, click here.
Title from “Bad Intentions” by Niykee Heaton.