This is what it’s like to be a disabled, disfigured, gay, trans woman
Changing Faces activist Mikaela Moody shares her experiences of being disabled, gay and transgender, and the challenges of ‘passing’ as a woman when you have a visible difference.
Proud transgender, queer, disfigured woman Mikaela Moody was born with Crouzon syndrome, which affects the shape of her head and face.
Growing up, her disfigurement increased her gender dysphoria as she didn’t believe she could be disabled and a trans woman.
Now, she is a campaigner for Changing Faces as a confident trans woman.
Watch the full interview with Mikaela Moody:
Being gay, transgender, disabled and disfigured.
For Mikaela Moody, 28, living in the intersection of queer, disabled and transgender can present a lot of social dysphoria.
Especially when thinking about having to ‘pass’ as a woman, Mikaela finds being perceived as a woman harder because of her visible difference.
Often leading her to believe that “there’s nothing that I can do, I’m still going to be read as a guy”.
Coming out as a woman took Mikaela longer because of her disability.
She suppressed her gender identity because she believed she “could only have one thing and that had to be my disfigurement and disability”.
After graduating from university, Mikaela came out to her family as a transgender woman describing it as a “privilege for them as well as me”.
Discrimination in differences.
Mikaela Moody is proud to be a disfigured, trans, gay women but says the world isn’t accepting of people like her yet.
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Saying that “as a disabled trans woman I never had anybody like me, to look up to, to see as a role model”.
Mikaela is trying to change people’s perceptions and views around people with disfigurations and campaigns with Changing Faces, the UK’s leading charity for visible differences.
Being discriminated against and undermined because of her physical appearance, Mikaela says that “it hurts to feel like your not apart of something”.
Believing that “everyone has worth no matter and we must stand together”.
Mikaela finds camaraderie with LGBT+ people who are intersectionally discriminated against because she doesn’t feel completely accepted by the abled LGBT+ community yet.
Saying that “there are still plenty of disabled people who don’t feel as if they can be in LGBTQ spaces without being seen as inspirations or burdens or barriers”.
She asks abled LGBT+ people to become inclusive of people like her and to “keep an eye on what you’re joking about and what words you use because sometimes they will hurt people that you love”.