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Acton Douglas has been a friend of mine for many years. This is a small part of his story being born female and transitioning to a happier, more fulfilling life as a "dude." This episode touches on the coming out process--sharing with this parents and employer his gender identity. A future episode will go more in depth about the transition process, specifically the experiences of body dysphoria and body euphoria.

To contact Acton you may reach him on Twitter @ADSeibelDesign and on Tumblr through actondouglas or adseibeldesign.

Dr. Lindsey Doe: This is my dear friend Acton. Acton would you like to introduce yourself to YouTube?

Acton: (laughing) Hi, I'm Acton. Um, I'm Lindsey Doe's friend.

Lindsey: Yes!

Acton: I am an out trans guy. And, uh, yah.

Lindsey: Do you wanna define transgender?

Acton: No.

Lindsey: (laughter) What?!

Acton: I, uh... (laughter)

Lindsey: Okay.

Acton: Um, my, no. Um, when people usually ask me that, what does transgender mean, is essentially my experience of, um, being born a woman and feeling, uh, really misplaced and, uh, feeling very very very, I don't want to say hopeless, but just really at odds with a lot of parts of my life. Personally uncomfortable, physically uncomfortable, and then sort of just deciding that I was gonna make a change because I didn't want to feel that way anymore. It was a huge focal point.
And then I had this job and my roommate was like, "So, you're going to tell them that you're talking testosterone, right?" And I was like, "Yah, I guess so." Cause my roommate at the time,was like, she was like, "Either they're going to ask you why you have a cold all the time." (laughter).

Lindsey: Going through puberty.

Acton: And why you're going through puberty and why you have facial hair. And see that concept, I'd just like to say that estrogen and testosterone are amazing things. You start taking testosterone, you start growing hair in uncomfortable places. You grow a little boy-stache.

Lindsey: You're rocking an awesome beard.

Acton: Thank you. Thank you very much. My mom had a really really hard time with it. You know, when I got done telling her, she was like, "I'm not going to talk to you for a little while."And I was like, "Well, do you want me to call you?" And she was like, "No, no, no. I don't want you to call me. I'll call you. Like I just, I just need not to talk to you right now." And she didn't talk to me for a long time. Like, we're not talking about a year, but it was, it was, a good chunk of time where I was like, "Oh God, like, my mom's not going to talk to me again." And then my dad was kind of like, "Well what the hell."
It occurs to me later on that both of my parents were not so much mad at me about transitioning and about wanting to live my life the way that I have chosen. They were so consumed by what they had done wrong.

Lindsey: It's not about you other people!

Acton: (laughing) I know! I mean, there's that. They literally were just like, "How do we fix this?" You know, it took it a few conversations to talk about, like, this isn't something that you fix.  Like, you cannot fix this. So, those were good conversations. At least they talk to me now. It's totally fine. I love those guys a lot.

Lindsey: That's great.

Acton: So. My boss is this big, big white dude. He used to be an ex-cop. He's sitting at his desk and I, I march right up there and I'm thinking, Okay just prepare for the worst. Just prepare to lose this job. Cause that's gonna be okay.And I'm standing there and I just sort of verbally spew all over his desk. How I'm trans and I wanna live my life as a dude. I would like it if he called my by this name and he used male pronouns.
And my boss he sort of just looks at me, he looks up at me and he's just like horrified. He's, like, horrified. And I'm like, here it comes. And he says, "What?" And I'm like, "What?" And he says, "No, really, what? I totally did not just hear what you said. What?"

Lindsey: (laughter)

Acton: So I take a deep breath and have to repeat myself. And he's still looking at me, horrified. It's like, it's just like, his mind is just like being blown or something like that. And I'm like, Oh my God this dude is going to pick me up and throw me out the door. I just know it. And all he says is, "Are you happy?" And I was like, "Well, yah." And he's like, "That's all I need to know." And he never once messed up my pronoun and he's never once messed up my name.
I know, I know that story is not a common story. Like, I don't think that people experience a lot of that. But, I was really thankful.

Lindsey: You've done an amazing think for yourself. And I'm glad that you're sharing it with us.

Acton: Thank you very much.

Lindsey: You're welcome. Thanks for joining me and Acton for trans awareness week. I hope you understand that this process goes beyond this one solitary week and that you continue to stay curious.