Six trans men have opened up about their experiences of transphobia in a new episode of PinkNews’ First Times.
From the first time holding hands in public, to the first time realising you were LGBTQ, we all have a first time story. First Times is a PinkNews YouTube series, with each episode dedicated to a different identity under the LGBT+ umbrella.
In a recent episode, trans men shared the first time they realised they were trans. Plus, lesbian and bisexual YouTubers Rose and Rosie recently did their own First Times special on the first time they met, had sex and experienced homophobia.
In this episode, trans men Steffan, Cairo, Toby, Harry, Roshaante and Kenny open up about their experiences of transphobia—both within and outside the LGBT+ community.
Cairo, a trans man and model, said he often experiences trolling online.
He explained: “A lot of straight men for a very long time didn’t really accept me as a man because of how I looked on the outside and I think that’s been a little bit of my struggle really.
“I don’t understand why people troll people and I feel like if you’re transgender you get trolled that extra bit.
“I just have to block them if I can or delete the comments, even though sometimes it really angers me.
“At the end of the day I need to reserve my energy to do better things. You can’t win so you’re better off getting back to the people who are genuinely following you and you’re inspiring them and [they] need your support.”
Transphobia in LGB community
Steffan Zachiyah, who first came out as lesbian and later as a transgender man, told PinkNews: “It’s only recently I started coming out a bit more and getting interactive with the LGB community because at one point I did feel shunned from the LGB community.
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“If I was to say I experienced any transphobia, I experienced the most from transphobia from the LGB community, which was quite shocking.
“It was almost like: ‘You were lesbian, now you want to turn into a man.’ There was this resentment there from that community and I didn’t understand why when we were supposed to be living as one.”
Transphobia and ‘outing’
Kenny Jones, who has campaigned on period issues for transgender men, told PinkNews he remembers a particularly horrible encounter of transphobia aged 13—not long after he came out.
“I remember going to a house party one night and the girls were giving me quite a lot of attention and the boys were getting jealous,” he said.
“They went up to the girls and turned around to them and went: ‘You know that’s a girl?’ They were trying to expose me.”
Roshaante, who is transgender and intersex, said this situation is all too familiar.
He added: “The guys see from a distance and then boom, they latch on and unleash your business like it’s nothing.
“I’ve had that so many times but I always get the girls so it doesn’t matter.”
Trans men Toby and Harry also shared their experiences of invasive about surgery and being harassed in bathrooms—watch the video above to see their stories.