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WUSF has been reporting recently on a difficult issue — legislation aimed at transgender persons. To help highlight other stories of the trans, nonbinary and gender noncomforming community, we asked residents what "Trans Joy" means to them. Daylina Miller is sharing their stories.

Trans joy: What it means to reclaim girlhood

A white woman in a yellow sleeveless blouse and wearing a brown, striped neck scarf stands in front of the Centro Ybor sign.
Daylina Miller
WUSF Public Media
Marcie English, 27, says trans joy for her is reclaiming the girlhood she didn't get to have growing up.

Today we hear from Marcie English, a trans woman from Ybor City who talks about reclaiming girlhood, and her message for trans youth, in her own words.

“Being a woman trapped in a boy's body, you see things as you grow up that I wanted to be a part of, things like a girlhood and sleepovers and seeing things like my mom having lifelong sister hoods, and girlfriends … things I felt like I was on the outside looking in.”

So for me, trans joy is being able to reclaim those things, to participate in those things that I've always wanted to do, and, you know, learning how to do my makeup and learning how to accessorize. You know, I think those are things that you kind of figure out in girlhood.”

“And if, you know, you're a woman, cis or trans, I think you can understand that and I don't expect a cisgender person or any person, even another trans person, to know what my journey is.”

“I think everyone's kind of lived experience to where they got where they are to express themselves is so different and diverse. So because of that, I certainly wouldn't expect someone to completely understand where I'm coming from. But I would expect someone to just respect me and where I come from; I think respect is such an easy thing we can give people.”

“I'm just over a year in my transition. So it's very new to me, but I am very conscious of making sure that my actions as an individual and as a trans person helps to create a space for trans youth who are who are growing up right now.”

“You're so much braver than I was at your age, I have so much confidence in you that despite these challenges that you're facing, and these more overt challenges that you're facing, than I was as a kid, that you will find the strength to overcome them and you will find a family or a support group that will love you and appreciate you for who you are. There is a responsibility, I think, for older trans folks like myself, to really make sure that we build a space for you.”

Share your trans joy here.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.
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