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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: Putting the focus on gender euphoria

A fair skinned person with short hair stands in front of a colorful mural.
Daylina Miller
WUSF Public Media
Prin Ocea is the LGBTQ+ programs coordinator at Metro Inclusive Health in St. Petersburg and Tampa. They talk about gender dysphoria versus gender euphoria, and working with the queer kids who painted the mural pictured behind them.

Today we hear from Prin Ocea, a genderqueer St. Petersburg resident who works for Metro Inclusive Health.

"Trans Joy makes me think of a lot of things. Initially, it makes me think of freedom: Freedom to choose how I express myself, without it being tied to any sort of identity or stereotype. I can be masculine, I can be feminine, I can be androgynous. I can be all of the things, all at the same time. And it just feels good and right.

Gender euphoria is a very important word. So a lot of times in the trans community, we talk about and have a focus on gender dysphoria, and how we have a disconnect from between our minds and our bodies or our minds and how other people perceive us. And gender euphoria is a feeling of alignment, a feeling of the way that people are interacting with me makes me feel visible, it makes me feel seen, makes me feel heard, makes me feel valid.

For a long time, I pushed away femininity, because I felt like it invalidated my nonbinary gender or my genderqueer gender. And when I would express anything feminine, I would find myself being misgendered more and people weren't seeing me as my true self. So I would push away femininity a lot.

And then once I found community, and found other nonbinary people, and I was able to start expressing myself more femininely and combining the feminine and masculine together. And that is really what made me feel euphoric when I looked in the mirror.

I work at Metro Inclusive health. I am LGBTQ+ programs coordinator. Looking forward to going and spending my Friday and Saturday evenings with queer youth always gave me the strength to survive my week, just because I knew when I went there, my cup would just be filled with all of their joy and community and connection and questions.

It's really amazing to be able to see someone who comes in for the first time and doesn't know anybody; they're really shy. And then after a few months, they might be going by a new name, they have a bunch of friends in the group. And they're just like coming into themselves. And you just see them smiling all the time.

When we're able to share our stories and our experiences and even just our understandings of our own identity, when we're able to share that with other people in that community, I've seen how that helps people grow and helps people understand themselves better and their own experiences.

Maybe it gives them words that they never had before to describe how they feel. And that is such a big part of connecting with community so that we can share language and share those words and understandings of our experiences."

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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