JAY

(they/them)

https://simplecast.com/s/9fcbb98e

9th July 2018:

Lee and Ryan meet Jay at Oakleigh Public Library on a Monday afternoon during the school holidays. Jay is a non-binary contemporary artist who works with 3D modelling, augmented reality, and has a keen interest in AI ethics. Jay talks to us about their partner and child, the significance of the term ‘queer,’ bi and enby erasure, web comics, intersectional feminism, and the tweet bot they created to troll Donald Trump.

TRANSCRIPT

L: We’re here today with Jay, welcome

 

J: Thank you

 

L: If we can just kick off by you just telling us your age and pronouns

 

J: I am 40, and I am they/them

 

L: What kind of things do you like to do?

 

J: I’m an artist working with 3D modelling and augmented reality, and AI, so I just really really love um, using computers to make art.

 

L: That is awesome – what’s a project that you’re working on the moment, or you’ve been working on recently?

 

J: I’m working on a project for Fringe, for um, a, combining, I’m using something called the generative adversarial network to create, mash together, all these images of Greek statuary, and try and create this wonderful, gender mixed, combination of artworks. I’m seeing what the computer sees in relation to gender, and then I’m combining that with poetry and image classifiers to get the computer to write poetry about the work [laughs] –

 

R: wow

 

L: So that’s the AI aspect of it?

 

J: Yeah

 

L: That is really cool.

 

L: If people wanna check out your work, is there somewhere they can go online?

 

J: Yeah, absolutely. Um, sadly the weird part is that I’m still rebranding. Um, so its under my deadname which is hilarious to me, I still don’t have a URL under my real name. But yeah, so its http://www.jennierosenbaum.com. yeah[laughs]

 

L: Do you feel ok with us including that?

 

J: Yeah. It’s weird, it’s weird saying it out loud, because that name has no meaning for me anymore, but um, branding is so weird when you spend so long establishing a brand, and then suddenly you have to, you’re changing who you are, and you hate that name, but you still have to acknowledge its presence, I guess.

 

R: When did you start doing this sort of art, and how did you get – yeah, I dunno, how did you like, cos I imagine it sounds incredibly, there’s so much skill and like knowledge involved in that – can you tell us a bit about the process?

 

J: I fell into it through my Masters’ degree in Contemporary Art. And I started as a painter using 3D modelling for my figures, uh, to paint from. And, cos its cheaper than a life-model [laughs] – and um, my supervisor said, look okay so your paintings are good, but [laughs] okay. Message understood. But that gave me suddenly the freedom to go, hey I’m not actually enjoying painting anymore, and exploring who I am in this really safe space, I had queer supervisors, I had a wonderful environment to really, y’know, acknowledge who I was, and to just explore how all of my work is completely,  y’know, nonbinary and very interesting, and yeah push that the little bit extra. And then bringing in my programming roots, from back when I used to work as a programmer and a tech project manager, and unite all those parts of myself into one [laughs]

 

L: I work in psychology research, youth mental health research, and what I’m looking at for my PhD is online innovation with regards to recovery from psychosis. So I love that idea of things coming from different areas to come together to create something really cool and meaningful.

 

J: So like, neural networks only know what they’ve been taught, and a lot of people consider that a bad thing, but we all only know what we’ve been taught. And they bring everything that they see together to create something amazing, and that’s what my first series, which is now called Beyond the Binary, is, was about. Is, sort of, everything that we see, becomes part of who we are. And how we see ourselves coming together. So yeah

 

R: Do you have like, links with other artists that kind of engage with similar questions of gender and so forth?

 

J: Not as much as I’d like. I talk with QueerTech a lot. I’m doing some work with them. Alison Bennett and yeah, they’re amazing, they’re such an amazing group of people. Highly recommend checking out QueerTech.io – plug [laughs]. But um, yeah, in the tech sphere, I’m one of the only ones working in this form of art, with such a bi queer agenda.

 

I hope its okay that I use the word ‘queer,’ I know some people are, y’know, but I feel like that’s one of those very comfortable words for me, so.

 

L: Absolutely, yeah. Do you have any pets?

 

J: I have two cats [laughs] I love them, they are my fur people. One of them is very needy, and he loves me [laughs].

 

R: You grew up around here?

 

J: I did. I moved to Australia when I was 3 and a half, and even though I still have an accent, I um, yeah I grew up here

 

R: Where did you move from?

 

J: America, Missouri. Which is, the bible thumpin’ Midwest [laughs]. And I email my representatives all the time, to try and, yeah still stay, I stay politically active still.

 

J: My dad got a job here in programming, I think it was, at a radio station.

 

L: Do you still have a relationship with your family? How’s that?

 

J: I do. It’s funny, it’s really, really odd. They absolutely refuse to use my name, and they absolutely, they just gloss over everything. They don’t get my artwork, they don’t understand what its about at all. When I won the Midsumma Australia Post Art Award, they, they were like – ‘oh, well I guess you could sort of say that it’s a little like transitioning.’ A little? [laughs] Really? Sure, y’know. Um but, they don’t get it. I think, it’s funny, I had the – ‘the talk’ – with my Mom about being gender nonconforming and nonbinary, and she said, she said: ‘oh, so its kinda like being intersex, but without the genetic components.’ And I’m like, holy shit yes! But then she won’t get it with regards to me. So y’know, I think that they, they just don’t want to acknowledge that it exists. Which, y’know, is better than I guess being actively evil to me, so that’s good. It’s a bit painful, I’d rather be all, y’know, out and comfortable with them, but as it is, y’know, my partner uses my pronouns around them, he uses my name around them, and they just roll with it, I don’t think they hear him [laughs].

 

L: Do you remember a time that you consciously started engaging with these ideas around gender?

 

J: From when I was a very little kid, I always loved those stories, the Joan of Arc stories, y’know, and then she whipped out some bandages and bound her chest – don’t do that! – but I did, and I did that, and I uh, that was always my thing. One of my favorite books was one where there were no pronouns at all for the main character, whatsoever. And that was like a huge revelation to me, that you could be outside of this notion of male and female. I’d wear, I went to a private school, so I’d wear boxers under my dress and y’know, stuff like that. I’d very much be, yeah, mixing it up. And some day I’d wake up and I’d want to be a boy so badly, and other times I’d want to be, I was happy to be a girl, and I was just sort of like, yes whatever’s in the moment. And it wasn’t I guess until I was, what 36 I think it was, that I heard the term ‘genderfluid,’ and I’m like – holy shit, that’s actually, that’s me! And that was an amazing moment, but yeah, I think always I’ve been… it’s like I’ve always thought people were into all genders, I thought everybody was attracted to everybody [laughs]. Turns out no [laughs].

 

L: [laughs]

 

R: Um, what was the context when you were 36 that this…

 

J: I think it was the internet, y’know [laughs] Good old internet really sort of, yeah helped bring that up for me.

 

L: Just changing track a little bit –

 

J: No, that’s fine –

 

L: Who are the people that are important to you in your life?

 

J: Uh, my partner’s amazing. He’s super supportive. He knew um, that I was genderfluid before I did, he actually read about it in a webcomic, and he waited, he didn’t tell me I was, he just waited until I came – to the word on my own, then he was there for me, with everything, with open arms. And he tries so very hard. He’s amazing. My little girl is amazing, she’s – she uses my pronouns. She knows how to y’know, she talks to people about how there aren’t just 2 genders. She’s amazing, and um, yeah. Y’know, I mean my family’s wonderfully supportive of my art and my work and everything like that, they just don’t understand me. And I’ve got the best friends in the entire world, I just, I love them to pieces. So yeah. You know the kind of friends who just, you can just go and hang out with, and sit on your device, and maybe don’t talk for an hour or whatever, but it’s cool? Yeah. You’re just comfy, that’s the best thing in the world.

 

L: Nothing kinda has touched me more in this podcast, like touched my heart more than people talking about their children or the way that young people can engage with these ideas so flexibly? It really makes me so happy.

 

J: I think we’re going to be okay [laughs]. That’s what it tells me. I think that the future is bright, and that, that helps [laughs].

 

R: Do you wanna tell us a bit more about how you met your partner?

 

J: Um [laughs]. We met at a masquerade ball [laughs]. I fell in love with – he fell in love with me when he saw me in a costume from an anime. And I saw, fell in love with him, when I saw him put my boyfriend in a coffin and slam the lid down on him. Cos my boyfriend was being a jerk to me. And uh, at the time, and he noticed. He went in with his friends as a, they all went as vampires. And they had a coffin, because one of their friends actually worked at the mortuary and made a coffin. So they walked in with the coffin on their shoulders, and then out of the coffin popped the guy who owned it. And then, of course, they gave everyone coffin rides, because that’s what you do [laughs]. And so they, my boyfriend at the time was 6 foot 5, and a complete and utter jerk, and he, he insisted on a ride, and everyone was very very gentle. And Liam was not, he slammed him around and slammed the lid down on him because he didn’t fit. And that, yeah, so I, I always say that I fell in love with him when he slammed my boyfriend in a coffin [laughs]

 

R: That’s how all good stories begin –

 

J: Right? [laughs]

 

L: Again, only if you wanna chat about it, but I’m so curious to how you started having that conversation with your child about your own gender?

 

J: I’m not sure I did, I’ve always been very much sort of, um, y’know, there’s more than 2 genders, or that anybody can use the bathroom they want, and things like that. And I remember her lecturing somebody in a bathroom [laughs] about it. She um, yeah I’ve always been very open with her about everyone because I feel like, y’know, we’ve never been, boys have a penis, girls have a vagina, that’s not been our world at all. So, uh, I think that she’s grown to it very naturally, and then um, y’know we just sorta said that I, y’know, I was buying underwear. I’d found boxers on sale, so I was buying some, and she was like those won’t fit Daddy. And I said, no they’re for me. ‘Oh, okay’ [laughs].

 

For my boy days. ‘Okay.’ [laughs] I think I just said, y’know sometimes Mommy has boy days, and sometimes I have girl days, and that’s how it goes. ‘Oh, alright’ [laughs].

 

L: How do you feel like you would describe your gender – I don’t know if that was it, or if there’s another way?

 

J: I describe my gender as fluid. Y’know sometimes, I’m incredibly male, and I’m like what the hell are these things on my chest? Y’know. Where’s everything downstairs? And um, other days, I’m like woohoo, I’m so curvy, this is awesome! Um, y’know, some days I’m like super masculine, but I wanna wear sparkly make-up. I’m, y’know, most of the days I’m like jeans and a t-shirt and a hoodie. And yeah, some days I’m kind of in between, and its all just, it’s good, y’know, no matter what I am.

 

L: Do you have relationships with other trans, nonbinary, gender diverse people?

 

J: So many, it’s so good [laughs]. It’s like, once you’re in that sphere, you know everybody. And its, Melbourne is so small. Y’know, you meet some people and you’re like, hey do you know – yes, I know! And suddenly you’re all just family, and its wonderful. Always want to know more though, I always want to meet everybody [laughs].

 

R: So do you feel like you were, I guess involved in trans or gender diverse communities, for a very long time –

 

J: I was one of those people who, uh – so when I went to university, I was like yes I’m going to join the Queer Club, this is going to be amazing! And they were like, no. You are bisexual, you are not part of our sphere. And I went, well screw you. It made me feel like crap, y’know, I felt completely like I didn’t belong. And so for the longest time, um, even coming out as trans, it’s been like this whole, I don’t belong in this sphere, I don’t, I’m not part of this group, and then all of a sudden I’ve gone, no, screw that, they’re not going to kick me out. It’s a different place now. They’re not just going to go ‘no, you don’t belong’ – it’s a different, it’s a different world now, and its good. I still, I think I still worry when I go to pride, whenever I have things, I still sort of, oh god, do I really belong? It’s kind of this, what, imposter syndrome. But yeah, I, I love it now. Now that I’m part of the community, its just, I feel welcomed with open arms, and that’s amazing.

 

L: I often think about, this is just a side note, if people who experience that kind of like, biphobia, if nonbinary people experience something in a similar way?

 

J: I think so, cos um, really, how many enby people look y’know, there’s that image, you’re all going look like Ruby Rose, we’re all going to be gorgeous and androgynous and pass in both directions, and its going to be amazing, and that’s not how it works at all [laughs]. I do not pass, and that’s why a lot of my artwork is about um, not passing transness. Because there’s lots of reasons to not medically transition, or to y’know, for lots of different reasons. And I think that’s, it’s okay to be who you are no matter what. But I think there is, y’know, sort of a [?] kind of moment with a lot people, where they don’t get it –

 

R: It’s not a valid identity, you’re just confused or…you’re too afraid to make a choice, and –

 

J: Which is exactly the same thing, yeah

 

R: It’s very, it’s ridiculous, but it’s also alienating

 

J: It is. Why should you have to make a choice? When you’ve got this whole wonderful spectrum of genders in front of you [laughs]

 

R: Yeah.

 

L: I hope, I hope it changes – I think, oh ok, what is your sense, do you feel like that idea is shifting, or?

 

J: I think its shifting. Slowly [laughs]. I think there’s still a lot of bi-erasure, I think there’s a lot of enby-erasure, but y’know I think that the world is shifting, slowly, and that’s a good thing. And that the community is shifting, away from the giant G, and the, y’know, the slightly smaller L, and the slightly smaller T, and then the teeny tiny B [laughs]. And…the IQ at the end [laughs].

 

R: You said earlier that you like the term ‘queer.’ Um, can you speak a bit about, I guess the relationship between queer and trans?

 

J: I like the word queer because I feel like it encompasses, when you’re not just one thing. Like, Hi I’m a gay cis man. Then, y’know that’s one identity, or, y’know. There’s um very much a, if you’re non, gender nonconforming, non gender binary, you’re trans, you’re lesbian, you’re bisexual, you’re pan, you’re multiple things that can’t fit into one bucket. Queer is this wonderful bucket to hold it all in, I guess.

 

R: It’s been a theme as well, that queer is a term that a lot of people really embrace, because it is ambiguous, and because it also, I guess is meant to be able to hold that shifting sense as well, that things aren’t static, um, like I think, I wonder if its also kind of an age thing? Because like I really identified with the term queer and always have, I’m now in my early 30s, and I don’t know how younger people would feel about that term? But for me it feels really, still feels very right, even though when I first used it, I thought of it in terms of sexuality only. And now it’s much more expansive  –

 

J: Yeah. It’s everything, it’s all at once, it’s not having to explain that ‘bi’ means more than 2 genders, it’s not having to explain that, y’know, you feel multiple numbers in the – letters, not numbers [laughs] – letters in the acronym. And I mean, enby isn’t even in the acronym, we’re under the T umbrella, and that’s great. But some enby people don’t like to identify as trans, for whatever reasons, so y’know, the umbrella, that acronym isn’t big enough for everybody, and its plenty big as an acronym, so [laughs]. Queer is that nice, yeah.

 

L: Yeah I feel similarly, I love the word queer, I’m in my early 30s as well, and I know my Mum – my uncle was a gay man in the 60s, 70s, and for her ‘queer’ has such a different connotation. She gets upset when I use it, and I just have to explain to her that, while I understand what that meaning has for her, those meanings shift. But I also love about queer, that I don’t have to tell you every single thing about me. I can say that my gender and my sexuality is queer, and that’s all you really need to know.

 

J: Yeah

 

L: I get, is trans representation in the media and the arts important to you, and are there any kind of characters or stories that you’ve found particularly interesting or compelling?

 

J: Oh I wish that there were more stories that I found compelling and interesting. I think that um, there’s a web comic called O Human Star, which I completely, y’know, that oh, touched my soul. And Squirrel Girl. I screamed out loud when, so there’s no mention at all, there’s just for some reason they have to run down the street in their underwear, and one of the characters is wearing a binder, and that’s it. That’s all your acknowledgement. And I’m like, yes! It’s not, his transness isn’t relevant, he’s just wearing a binder, and that’s beautiful to me. I, uh, the reason I think that I do the art I do, is to show the different narratives, and the different stories, and to create a different world than the one we see. Um, I try and give us more representation in different ways, hopefully [laughs] I want more stories.

 

R: I was going to ask, when people come and see your art, when people comment on your art, do you get asked lots of personal questions?

 

J: I do, I do. Especially a lot of the older people who come and look at it, and I use it as a teaching moment. It’s quite emotionally draining after, cos I’m present for a lot of my exhibitions, so I have to kind of do the same talks over and over. And that, it is emotionally draining, but I think its really important to show that there’s different options, and different ways of looking at things, and so I do, I give the, people are like – that person looks male at the top, but has female genitalia! – and I’m like, well [laughs]. And do you see how this one has very masculine posing but is very feminine, that’s because… And I yeah, I try and make it a teachable moment.

 

L: How do you feel like people generally receive it?

 

J: Really well, they kind of, like some of them are: oh that’s so weird, when they look at it at first, okay. But, and then they go away, and they’re nodding, and they’re like oh. And so I’ve got them now [laughs]. No, even the little old ladies are actually really, yeah, I think they’re very open to it.

 

R: We’ve got a question here about how you see yourself in this moment of increased trans visibility, but I guess building on the last question: you are, would I be right to say that you are quite visible as a trans or nonbinary person, through the work that you do?

 

J: I think so. I do a lot of talking at tech conferences, and I always have my pronouns y’know clearly listed, I’m always, I’m very, I’m not as much as I have some speaker friends who are more out and about their transness, which is amazing. Um, and I definitely, I talk about my work and I talk about it reflecting my gender and everything, in these conferences, and I think that its important. So yeah, I guess I am [laughs]. It’s kinda weird to say, isn’t it [laughs]. I won an award, I suppose I should.

 

L: Can you tell us more about the award that you won?

 

J: Yeah, so um, at Midsumma every year, Australia Post has the Midsumma Australia Post Art Prize? And yeah, it’s uh, it’s really an amazing award. The artworks that have won have been, yeah. The ones in my year, I was like holy crap I’m never gonna win, these are amazing! But I was proud to just be a finalist, and then they announced that I won, and I lost my – [laughs]

 

L: What was that like to win?

 

J: I just, honestly, I just ‘ohh!’ An Oscar moment, like completely. I was pathetic, but it was really good, I had a friend that knew I was one of the winners, cos she worked at Aus Post, and she was watching me for the reaction. And of course I was completely oblivious, so [laughs]

 

R: How do you see yourself in relation to other social and political movements?

 

J: Uh, I’m very, I’m a very active feminist. And a very active intersectional feminist, I should say, because I very much believe that the future is intersectional. And I’m very active politically, I use resist bot to email my representatives in the US, and um, I tried very hard, I’m trying to get Resist Bot to open up source code so that I can do something here in Australia with it. So that we can do something similar, cos being able to use Facebook messenger to send off emails to representatives is amazing. Um, or Twitter or anything, SMS even. I think that we all have to be as, y’know, have to try, especially in this crazy climate, it’s awful. So, y’know, I’m very vocal on Twitter, and I wrote a Tweet Bot, that, to troll Donald Trump, it’s not working so well, but you know, I’m enjoying it, so that’s good [laughs]

 

Apart from that, y’know, I think yeah. I try and be out there as much as possible, I can’t physically protest in um rallies as much as I’d like, because it’s a lot of walking and standing around, especially in the cold. Uh, which isn’t something I can do, so I try and use my voice instead.

 

L: Do you have intergenerational relationships with maybe younger or older trans people at all?

 

J: Not as much as I’d like. Um, I mean, there’s a lot of uhh, younger enbys, but no, I think that mainly around my age. I have a, a Facebook group that I’m a member of, that there’s like, there’s us old people, and then there’s the young ones who are asking for advice, and that’s really lovely. Because we all sort of get advice off of each other, and that’s worldwide, yeah that’s lovely. Often make-up advice [laughs]. Which I am useless at, so y’know [laughs].

 

R: How does, um, being nonbinary relate to other aspects of your identity?

 

J: I think it permeates absolutely everything about me, honestly. And it always has. Y’know, um, all of my artwork has been very nonbinary, it’s just taken me a really long time to see it. Um, and all of my, everything I read, everything, everything I do, I think is, skewed by I guess these different parts of my brain, all of my genders coming together. It’s exciting. But then I dunno how other people think, and how their genders permeate their lives, so I dunno, maybe there are people who, their gender does [laughs] occupy every – it doesn’t occupy every waking moment, but it certainly involves everything, a lot of things.

 

R: What do you think the big issues are facing the gender diverse community?

 

J: Oh that’s really hard [laughs]. I think visibility. Visibility’s gotta be the biggest one. And this whole issue of, what was it, um, fashion gender or something like that? It’s fashionable, its trendy, or – yeah, I can never remember the word.

 

J: [Passerby comments on Jay’s hair] Oh thank you [laughs]

 

J: Uh, I think, yeah visibility’s a huge issue, and there’s this idea that its uh, a fashion, and that it’s something that people are going to grow out of, and that yeah. It’s not, I don’t want to say it’s not normal, but I think that a lot of people think that, deep down, that oh it’s just a phase. And I think that if we can get rid of that style of thinking, then that would be amazing.

 

L: Do you feel like, this is off the cuff, but – do you feel like there’s um, I identify as nonbinary, so does Ryan – and I’ve just been noticing a lot more on the internet, that there seems to be 2 camps: where people that identify as more as binary, and nonbinary, there seems to be some kind of animosity rising at the moment, between those 2 kinds of groups of people? Maybe just in particular spaces on the internet, but is that something that you’ve ever come into contact with or experienced?

 

J: I see some of that occasionally on some of the online groups. It’s a bit funny, really, cos it’s, it’s kind of like the battle between pan and bi. It’s like, okay, we’re arguing about the same thing, really. Can’t we all just get along and support each other, and y’know, embrace the, try and be part of the umbrella.

 

L: What do you, what would you say the best thing about being trans is? Or nonbinary? I just wanted to clarify, do you feel like, would you identify as trans as being separate to nonbinary, or?

 

J: I identify as trans and as being nonbinary, yeah, trans nonbinary. Um, but honestly, I think that its up to everyone, I use it purely in the scientific context, y’know – being, identifying as the gender other than the one I was born with, so yeah. Um, but, cos, actually…That’s why I, originally I realized that I was cos I heard the word ‘cis,’ and went, well that doesn’t apply to me, I don’t identify as the gender I was born with. Wait, what? [laughs]. And that started the journey.

 

Sorry, going way way back. Sorry the question was –

 

L: What would you say the best thing about being trans is?

 

J: Best thing about being trans is being able to shop all over the store [laughs]. Not having to tie down, oh those are men’s past, or, y’know, being able to be comfortable, is kind of amazing. Yeah, and not feeling constricted by this binary notion of gender is just, yeah, relieving.

 

J: I wanna do a PhD, and this is sort of what I wanna do my PhD in, is computer visions of gender. And um, trying to queer that um, that the – cos um. A lot of people teach bias into neural networks, that’s something that happens a lot in machine learning, is people, uh, a lot of its driven by white men. And they teach neural networks all about white men. And then are surprised when bias enters the thing. So um, for me, I think that we have to uh try and subvert this paradigm, and we absolutely have to queer the narrative. That’s entirely my interest is in taking these computer visions and removing binary gender from the equation, and seeing what it comes up with.

 

L: Are neural networks the rules that you tell the computer when you program, is that  –

 

J: Neural networks are interconnected, um networks that feed information backwards and forwards; they’re built off the same structures as our brains. And, so, they, they’re learning. They’re learning networks. And we teach them by showing them – so I teach them by showing them images. And lately I’m teaching them with words as well. And that’s sort of yeah, what I’m looking at doing. So image classifiers, you see them all the time when you’re using Google, something like that – it goes, this image has a horse in it, or giraffes, or a bit of a meme in the neural network world in the moment, for a while there, image classifiers were only seeing if someone was in a kitchen, it would say: a woman is doing the dishes, or a woman is cooking. And that is due to the bias. A man in the kitchen would be identified as a woman doing the dishes. Or, so yeah. Yeah that’s, that’s the bias that people have introduced.

 

L: And that’s just learned, because, like it’s only learned that information from a person, right?

 

J: Yeah. Yeah from the people who’ve programmed it, I think those are multiple people programming, so yeah. There are people putting out papers saying that they can tell a person’s sexuality based on their photo. And things like that. Um, and that’s all just, that’s rubbish science. And –

 

R: Dangerous –

 

J: It is extremely dangerous. And this is part of the ethics in machine learning that we all need to really look at, ethics in AI is such a crucial area. And its, that sort of thing is crazy dangerous in areas like, where it’s a crime, y’know. Ooh, its horrifying. So we, I want to very much try and change um, obviously I only train my own neural networks, I don’t get access to the Google ones or anything like that, but I want to…change these narratives, and changing the way people look at them in these dangerous ways.

 

L: So you’re doing a piece at the moment that’s going to be in the Fringe –

 

J: Yeah, yeah at Testing Grounds.

 

L: Cool, I can’t wait to check this out.

 

L: If you were gonna tell a younger person, or a person earlier in their transition, what have you, what kind of advice or information would you want them to hear?

 

J: That you’re awesome and valid just the way you are. Y’know, that its, it seems hard but that what you feel is right, and who you are is completely and totally valid. And if you want to transition that’s great, and if you don’t want to transition, that’s great. And just be you. You do you [laughs].

 

L: And if we flipped it, if you were gonna tell an older trans person something, what might you say to them?

 

J: It’s okay that you didn’t know earlier? It’s awesome that you know now. Who you were then is valid, and who you are now is equally valid. And good on you for working it out, yay [laughs].

 

R: Is there anything you wanted to add or talk about that we didn’t touch on?

 

J: Vote [laughs].

J: Oh uh, if you’re – there’s a lot of talk, there’s a high intersection between um, people with autism and people who are trans and queer. And um, that’s an awesome thing, and I’m autistic, I’m on the Asperger’s spectrum, and yeah, its… I’m really, really happy to see, I guess that huge overlap. I feel a huge kinship with all of, all of my auty enby peeps, and that’s really cool. So yeah.

 

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