Submit your questions for a new Issue Time on transgender body positivity!
You can submit questions here until Wednesday 2/22. Answers will be posted on Refinery29′s tumblr Saturday 2/25. Anyone is welcome to participate, but we especially want to help transgender and nonbinary people of all genders.
And now, meet our panelists…
Rylan Jay Testa, Ph.D., Psychology Professor
Dr. Rylan Jay Testa is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Rhodes College and the Director of the Health Behavior and Disparities Lab. Dr. Testa is a clinical psychologist and transgender man whose research focuses on understanding and preventing self-destructive health-related behaviors, such as suicide, eating disorders, and substance abuse in marginalized communities.
Daniel Friedman, Founder of Bindle & Keep
Daniel Friedman is founder of Bindle & Keep, a NYC-based custom suit company serving all gender identities. He also costars in the HBO film SUITED which follows the stories of five gender nonconforming people in their journey to wear clothes that accurately reflect the way they feel.
Justice Roe Williams, Executive Director of BodyImage4Justice & Fitness Coach for JusticeBodies
Justice Roe Williams is a published poet originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey. He is a founding Director of BodyImage4Justice (BI4J), an holistic wellness and fitness program for the LGBTQ community that primarily focuses on Trans Bodies. Prior to his work at BI4J, Justice organized to free political prisoners for low income communities and young people in the South End, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and Roxbury areas of Boston.
Aydian Dowling, CEO of Point5cc and Point of Pride
Aydian Dowling is a Transgender Activist and Entrepreneur, owner of Point5cc Clothing and President/Founder of Point of Pride, Non Profit. Aydian has documented his transition since 2009 via his Youtube Channel, ALionsFears, and is most commonly known to be the first Transgender Man on the cover of the worlds biggest mens magazine, Men’s Health.
Precious Davis, Diversity & Inclusion at Columbia College Chicago and LGBTQ Activist
Precious Davis is lauded nationally as an award winning diversity professional, social justice facilitator, and educator. She currently is the Assistant Director of Diversity Recruitment Initiatives at Columbia College Chicago, her alma mater from which she received a BA in Liberal Arts. Precious currently implements and oversees the Campus Wide Diversity Initiative and is the first woman of color to hold this position.
Davis finds deep meaning in engaging individuals in conversations surrounding bias, bigotry, and prejudice in their communities on the basis and belief that humans can coexist with one another positively through the embracing of each other’s differences and the celebrating of each others human diversity. With over 15 years of diversity training, leadership development, and social justice education experience Precious is a highly demanded speaker and panelist who has been featured at: The University of Chicago, Northwestern University, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The University of Michigan, The Chicago Community Trust, Reed College, Hampshire College, and Loyola University Chicago.
Been struggling to motivate myself recently and decided to do a good old before and after. The one on the left is me 4 years ago at my prom and the one on the right Is me at the gym today. I weighed about 175lbs back then and had been struggling with terrible eating habits along with binge eating. I now weigh 146lbs. I still have squishy bits but that’s okay
I’ve been avoiding writing this because I feel like its going to be long but whether anyone reads this or not hopefully someone will see this and will have a clear understanding of what they need to do to get or keep themselves motivated.
I’m not doing it for attention. Maybe I am, there’s a lot that goes through my mind when I think about all of the things that I want during and after my weight loss journey. Shallow reasons are natural to have but of course I do want to be healthy…. I’m doing it because I’m sick and tired of being uncomfortable. I’m sick and tired of looking in the mirror and hating what I’m seeing. I’m late everyday for everything because I cannot find an outfit that doesn’t make me look fat. I’ve been late constantly to work for the past few months because I just couldn’t bring myself to leave the house without changing my outfit 40 times. I cringe sometimes when I see how amazing some women look, especially when you can tell, for them, it’s effortless. The fact that there are females (mainly on IG) that do not have to try to look good because they always do…it does make me a little jealous. I want that effortless look. I want to take 3 minutes to get dressed. I want to feel comfortable in EVERYTHING I wear, I don’t want to spend time trying to cover up my body. I want to be able to wear tank tops, short sleeves, crop tops, shorts, skirts, dresses, strapless things, fitted tops, high wasted jeans, HEELS, have shoulder length hair and wear any kind of hairstyle. I want to be comfortable with my appearance, I want to take full body pictures. I hate taking pictures, so much, I hate when people try to take pictures of me. I don’t want to be scared to look into mirrors outside of my house. I don’t want to be afraid of going around guys and good looking females because I feel like they’re making fun of me. I want to be strong physically. I don’t want to be fucking “plus size”. I want to wear those clothes that have been sitting in my closet for MONTHS/ YEARS because I can’t fit them. I don’t want to be fat. I want to be able to walk into almost any store and purchase something I want, because I can actually wear it and not look like it’s suffocating me. In no way shape or form do I want to look like a bodybuilder. I want to be able to start running without being winded and go up stairs without burning legs or being out of breath. I want to take full body pictures. I want to stop comparing. I want to be someones inspiration. I want to be comfortable, strong, happy and STYLISH! I want to be a different person as far as attitude. No one wants to be miserable… The ultimate words I want to hear at the end of this journey of mines is “OMG YOU LOOK SO GOOD, YOU’VE LOST SO MUCH WEIGHT!”. I want friends and family to be happy for me and proud of me. I want people to see that I’ve actually accomplished something. I want that genuine feeling of happiness and sense of accomplishment. I want to be everything I’ve always dreamt of being.