*whip crack, throat clears, hinges creaks* Lindsey: This is my dear friend, Acton. Acton would you like to introduce yourself to YouTube? Acton: *laughs* Hi, I’m Acton, um, I’m Lindsey Doe’s friend. I am Lindsey: *whispers* Yes! Acton: an out trans guy and, uh, yeah. Lindsey: Do you want to define transgender? Acton: No, I mean that’s… Lindsey: *laughs* What!? Acton: *laughs* I’m like, no. Uh, when people usually ask me that, “what does transgender mean?” It’s essentially my experience of uh, being born a woman and feeling, uh, really misplaced and, uh, feeling very, very, very, I don’t want to say hopeless but, just really at odds with a lot of parts of my life. Personally uncomfortable, physically uncomfortable, and then sort of just deciding that I was gonna make a change because I didn’t want to feel that way anymore. It was a huge focal point and then I had this job and my roommate was like, “So you’re going to tell them that you’re taking testosterone, right?” and I was like *deep breath* “Yeah I guess so,” ’cause my roommate at the time was like, she’s like there’s, they’re going to ask you why you’re, why you have a cold all the time *laughs* and… Lindsey: Going through puberty. Acton: Why are you going through puberty, and why do you have facial hair and see that concept I just like to say that estrogen and testosterone are amazing things. You start taking testosterone, you start growing hair in uncomfortable places, twelve year old boy ‘stache. Lindsey: You’re rocking an awesome beard. Acton: Thank you, thank you very much. My mom had a really, really hard time with it. You know, when I got done telling her, she like, “I’m not gonna talk to you for a little while,” and I was like, “Well do you want me to call you, like are you…” She’s like “No, no, no, I don’t want you to call me. I’ll call you, like I just need not to talk to you right now” and she didn’t talk to me for a long time, like we’re not talking about a year but it was a good chunk of time where I was like, “Oh god, like my mom’s never going to talk to me again,” and then my dad was kinda like “Well what the hell?” It occurs to me later on that like, both my parents were not so much mad at me about transitioning and wanting to live my life the way that I’ve chosen, they were so consumed by what they had done wrong. Lindsey: *yells* It’s not about you other people! *both laughs* Acton: I mean there’s that, they’re like, they literally were just like “How do we fix this?” You know it took a few conversations talking about like, this isn’t something that you fix, like you cannot fix this. So, those were good conversations. At least they talk to me now, it’s totally fine. I love those guys a lot. Lindsey: That’s great. Acton: So, my boss is this big, big white dude, he use to be an ex-cop. He’s sitting at his desk and I march right up there and I’m thinking ok just prepare for the worst. Just prepare to lose this job because that’s gonna be ok and I’m standing there and I just sort of verbally spew all over his desk, about how I’m trans and I want to live my life as a dude. I would like it if you called me by this name and used male pronouns and my boss just sort of looks at me. He looks up at me and he’s just like, horrified, he’s like, horrified and I’m like here it comes and he says, “What?” and I’m like “What?” and he says, “No really, what? I totally did not just here what you said, what?” *quiet laugh* So I take a deep breath and I have to repeat myself and he’s still looking at me, horrified like, it’s just like his mind’s like being blown or something like that and I’m like oh my god this dude’s going to pick me up and throw me out the door. I just know it. And all he says is, “Are you happy?” Lindsey: *quietly* Aw. Acton: and I was like “Well yeah.” He’s like, “That’s all I need to know” and he never once messed up my pronoun and he’s never once messed up my name. I know, I know that stories is not a common story like, I don’t think people experience a lot of that but I was really thankful. Lindsey: You’ve done an amazing thing for yourself and I’m glad that you’re sharing it with us. Acton: Thank you very much. Lindsey: You’re welcome. Thanks for joining me and Acton for Trans Awareness week. I hope you understand that this process goes beyond this one solitary week and that you continue to stay curious.