(Vice) UCLA’s Williams Institute estimates there are 1.4 million transgender adults currently living in the United States. Young adults are also more likely than older adults to identify as transgender: “Among adults ages 18 to 24, 0.7% identify as transgender; among adults ages 25 to 64, 0.6% identify as transgender; and among adults ages 65 and older, 0.5% identify as transgender.”
Clearly, the younger generation is becoming more comfortable expressing and exploring their gender identity. We asked six people about what they liked about being transgender. Here’s what they said. Answers have been condensed and edited.
“I think that a positive indirect result of being trans or nonbinary means that you do not care what society thinks about you, and it’s such a freeing feeling.”
In a way, such wilful hedonism is a statement in itself, particularly given that Petras’ very identity is politicised every day. “Sometimes, it’s hard not to get completely reduced to being transgender,” she says. Having moved from Cologne to Los Angeles aged 19, after a YouTube cover of a Chris Brown song got her noticed by a producer there, the German musician worked as a songwriter for more than half a decade, penning tracks for the likes of JoJo and Fergie. Last year, she broke out as a solo artist when I Don’t Want It at All topped the Spotify global viral 50 chart. A few months later, she collaborated with Charli XCX on the track Unlock It, before releasing more singles: the low-riding pop-rap of Faded, the strutting Heart to Break and the newly released Can’t Do Better, a lung-busting, bombastic power ballad. But on a recent trip back to Germany for a week of press, she wasn’t asked about any of that.
This groundbreaking new ad depicts the challenges faced by transgender people in accessing public restrooms—and highlights the lack of state and federal nondiscrimination protections for transgender people. The ad will have its national TV debut on FOX News Channel next Thursday, July 21, during the final night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. It will air nationwide again on MSNBC during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia one week later. (more…)