:: Meet This BOI ::
During the Creating Change conference earlier this year in Atlanta, we were fortunate enough to meet all kinds of awesome people, some of which we’ve featured on QBs over the past few months. One of those wonderful people was Jayden Thai, whose style and activism made us stop to talk and bond. After some great conversation during that first meeting it was clear we’d find a way to work together in the future. Who knew that when we put out a call for new contributors that one would be Jayden? With so much to offer our team just by being who he is, Jaydenis slated to give us all food for thought.
component, Trans Masculine Information, T.M.I. has a new face and that face is Jayden Thai
, a Vietnamese American Trans man grad student with something to say and we’re thankful we get to be one of the platforms through which he speaks!
Join us in welcoming Jayden Thai
… We’re SO looking forward to this next season of QBs!
PS: Happy Birthday Jayden and welcome to the team. :-)
Read more about Jayden here»»
The Transguy, the Conventional Wisdom, and the Wardrobe
Conventional wisdom tells us that the clothes make the man. We are told by society that our clothes is what make us, that our fashion defines who we are as a person. How we present ourselves tells people who we are without ever having to say a word. As a transmasculine transgentleman, my wardrobe and my style is an important part of my identity. It is the fabric that covers the binder that bounds my chest. It is the fabric that allows me to present myself the way I want others to perceive me. I had always thought my wardrobe is what gives me the confidence to walk out my door with my head held high. I believed my clothes is an extension of who I am. Some people may argue that my clothes made the man in me.
Prior to beginning my medical transition and even prior to me coming out to myself as trans, my clothes were incredibly important to me. Conventional wisdom told me that my clothes made me and I believed it. I believed my clothes would give me the confidence I yearned for but never could find. Prior to identifying as trans, I was already dressing in dapper suits and colorful ties. Dress shirts and cardigans were staples in my closet. In spite of it all, I continued to feel incomplete and depressed. The confidence I thought I would gain from my clothes was still absent. I thought my clothes would give me the identity I needed to define myself. I thought that if I dressed in masculine clothes, it would be enough for me to be ok with myself. I thought that if people would perceive me as manly, it would be enough for me to continue identifying as female. But it wasn’t and that devastated me. The discomfort and depression were still there. For the longest time, I did not understand why my clothes were not enough for me to be comfortable and confident in myself. It wasn’t until I began to come out to myself as trans did I finally understand who I am and my style.
My style prior to transitioning was the same as it is now. The only difference now is that I identify as transguy. Transitioning and finally being the man I am gave me my confidence, not my clothes. Being my authentic self allows me to finally be comfortable and happy, not only under my own clothes but under my own skin as well. I no longer have to rely on people’s perception of my masculinity to define who I am—I am able to define myself. Having a better understanding of who I am on the inside allows me to have a better understanding of who I am on the outside. My clothes do not give me confidence, I give my clothes confidence. Clothes do not make me. I make my clothes.
It has been a long journey to get me to where I am today and it will continue to be a long journey. There have been many things that have helped me get to this point in my life and I hope I can help others the same way many people have helped me. I am excited to be a part of and work with the Queer B.O.I.S. team. I look forward to sharing trans-related resources with everyone in hopes that will empower you, your identities, and your voices.
All photo credits: Yen Nguyen