Trans Project | Albie | Cedar Rapids Iowa Body-Positive Boudoir Photographer
Trans Project with Albie
Cedar Rapids / Iowa City / Eastern Iowa Boudoir Photographer
Albie is the second blog for my Trans Project and I have been so stoked to share his images! He has such a fun and quirky personality and when he starts talking about something he’s passionate about you can truly see his eyes light up. I don’t know about you but seeing people light up about something they love is one of my favorite things in the world. You can tell a lot about a person if you watch closely during these moments.
Albie and I actually went to school together, and both did theatre together as well, although for some reason until I got him in front of my camera I totally didn’t realize he was a grade or two below me!
I’m seriously loving these unique sessions and getting to know people better. Read below to get to know Albie and his story!
Q: What do you identify as?
Q: When did you come out?
Publicly Feb. 2015
Q: If you feel comfortable, share your coming out story
I've never been good with labels. My parents know this, my friends know this, I've moved from label to label my whole adolescent life. I went through multiple labels before coming out as trans. Bisexual, lesbian, genderfluid, then trans male. So, with my parents obviously being used to me coming out, it was hard for them to take any of those labels seriously. It seemed like I was just going through a bunch of phases. But really, each time, I was coming a step-closer to my new and true identity as a trans man. I honestly don't remember the specific 'trans-male' coming out story, but I don't care too much for the past- I'm not going that way.
Q: When/What if anything made you realize you were trans?
Okay listen- you're not allowed to laugh, although as I'm writing this, I'm totally laughing. It was the 1999 musical "Newsies". Yeah, a Disney movie was the catalyst for my sexual and gender awakening. I begged my parents to take us to NYC so I could see the musical on Broadway the summer heading into my first year high school after seeing it in choir- and they took us! After seeing "Newsies" on Broadway for the first time (I've seen it twice on Broadway, three times on tour) I couldn't decide if I wanted to be those boys, or marry those boys. A few therapy sessions later and I came to terms with the answer- both.
Q: What are some micro aggressions that make you feel unsafe?
- when people ask my 'real'(meaning birth) name and 'preferred' pronouns- they're not preferred, they're mandatory.
- when cis AND other trans men tell me how to dress so i'm 'trans' or 'masculine' enough to be valid in my identity
Q: What are some of the most hurtful questions to ask? How can I be a better ally/friend?
Put your pronouns in your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram bio. Everyone having their pronouns in their bios on social media defeats the stigma of introducing them in a social setting, saving us trans individuals from having to out ourselves in every situation if we don't want to.
Don't ask about our genitals. Don't ask about what our 'real' name is, or what our 'preferred' pronouns are. If we want to share our story with you, we will do so willingly!
Q: What have your experiences (if any) with male privilege been like? When you "pass" as a man to other people, do they treat you differently than before you started transitioning (i.e., before you appeared masculine)?
Oh gosh, it's so weird passing as a guy. I lacked male privilege for so much of my transition, so even though I knew I was a guy, no one else treated me that way. I've definitely been treated differently since top surgery, I don't have to talk as loud to get attention, I don't get looks of people trying to decide my gender, and . I've also noticed faster service when handling business over the phone, because they think it's a man.
Q: What is the biggest misconception you want to dispel?
Is it bad that I can't think of one? Being trans isn't a sexual fetish! We're real people with real feelings, and we don't assault people in bathrooms! If that counts, I guess? I think that's all I can think of.
Q: What's been the hardest part of your transition so far?
Being emotionally vulnerable and honest with those around me. Telling them about my bad dysphoria days and letting them into that special vulnerability was so so hard.
Q: What is the best experience you've had since coming out?
My best friend Sam coming to visit me in the hospital after surgery. She stayed by my side as I napped, laughed, and stared at my chest in awe- holding my hand the whole time. She is my rock, she always has my back, and I know she'll always be by my side.
Q: What do you personally define as transitioned?
For me, it's going as far as you want medically or socially to feel comfortable in the body and society you live in.
Q: What physical changes have you made since transitioning?
I've been on testosterone for about a year and a half, and I had top surgery July 25th, 2018. I've started growing hair almost everywhere and my voice has deepened quite a bit.
Q: Do you have anything that you want to talk about that wasn't asked above? An issue close to your heart? Something you wish people were more informed about?
Style and makeup is not a signifier of being 'boy', 'girl' or any other gender identity. It's just a fashion choice. So don't judge anyone for how they choose to express their self. It's not your business.
Are you interested in participating in The Trans Project? Click here to learn more! Please note that these are not paid sessions therefor I’m doing them in my personal time and not everyone is guaranteed to get chosen. Not hearing back from me does not mean that you weren’t but I will be contacting people as I have time to fit sessions into my schedule.