Look Like Yourself: Shayne

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

When did you realize you didn’t relate to your birth gender?

I would say i started realizing i didn’t relate to my birth in my early teens. I never wore the typical girl clothes or played with the usual girl toys. You would find me riding my BMX bike through the puddles getting covered in mud, shooting hoops or playing video games. I remember hiding behind the recliner with a pair of scissors, slowly cutting my hair shorter and shorter. I came out to my mother as a lesbian and it just never felt right to say. The first person i met who was Trans helped me find my authentic self.

How did you deal with that mentally & physically?

Finding myself was never an easy task. I’m the shy quiet kid who watches from afar and bottles up their emotions. I’ll admit i did self harm for various reasons and over time i discovered that didn’t help, in fact it made things worse. Most days i use music to express my feelings to bring myself to a happy place but recently i got back into photography and that has helped more than ever.

Give me glimpse of the inside you verse your outward appearance.

To be honest i think now both my inside me and my outward appearance are on the same page. Quiet, shy, laid back yet i’m extremely sarcastic. I always warn people to not take me seriously because of my sarcasm and sick humor.

How would you prefer people to address you? pronouns, preferred name etc

I use male pronouns and answer to Shayne but honestly if you just understand that i am human, I’m content.

What does gender identity mean to you?

Gender identity to me is how you see yourself on a daily basis. I don’t believe it should be determined by anyone but yourself.

Was there someone in your life that helped you start to see your authentic/true self? Tell me about how they helped you/who they are/

Throughout my life there has been several people who have helped me find myself. Assorted myspace & live journal friends i made many years back, real life friends and those who have supported me. My best friend Jaden has always been there for me and i’d like to think we balance one another throughout the last 8 years.

Talk to me about your struggles with identity and how you’ve grown to overcome them.

Also include anything you want within your story

Ive always struggled with who i am and i don’t think that will ever go away because i have grown to accept that i am always changing to become a better version of who i was yesterday. If you met me 15 years ago, you wouldn’t think i am the same person honestly. Struggling is apart of life, as much as we hate it, though it does help shape you into someone amazing.

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