As we move into a month of trans awareness, and as our work on Wyvern continues and grows, I want to stop for a moment and pass the torch to a member of the team whose enthusiasm for the book has brought it so much closer to completion.
Toby Medeiros is Wyvern‘s illustrator and in addition to his artistic talents – which are considerable – he has also given the project his thoughts and reflections as a trans man himself. I asked Toby if he would share some thoughts with us as we approach the Trans Day of Remembrance.
I’m no stranger to having to write about myself when it comes to my gender identity. I am used to having to write blog entries, emails, comics and essays regarding the topic of trans* individuals and my own identification as a transgender man.
So you could say I am a man of many, many words, yet when Kyle came to me about writing a personal blurb for Trans* Awareness month, I found myself stumped.
I could take this chance to tell you that whether you’re in or out of the closet you’re not alone, and that if you identify as trans* you have a whole community willing to back you up. I could also use this chance to talk about the importance of the friends and family who accepted me and supported me when I came out. I could write about those things, but like many other trans* writers, I have covered them before and I really wanted to explore something different with this.
What I really wanted to say was something that isn’t said enough these days, which is surprising seeing as it’s one of the major topics that seems to come up when you first come out. Loved ones may accuse you of suddenly being a different person. Mine did, and I couldn’t help but feel as though that just wasn’t true. When my mom turned to me and told me that I just wasn’t the same person, I felt hurt. Regardless of gender, I was still me, and I still loved all the same things I did growing up. I still found the same jokes funny and I still harboured a deep seeded hatred for banjo music and the artwork of Rob Liefeld. I could understand her in a way, but I knew myself better than she did and I knew I was still me.
I didn’t change because being Transgender doesn’t define me as a human being.
I am an illustrator.
I am a comic book fan.
I am Toby Medeiros, and I am just like anybody else. Who I was, and who I am, they’re the same. The way I define my gender should never impact the way others treat me.
Seeing as I am a comic illustrator I did draw a small comic to drive my point home.
(Click here to see it on Toby’s Tumblr page)
Don’t ever be ashamed of who you were and never let anyone tell you who you are. At the end of the day you have to be cool with your awesome self. You owe that to yourself.
Keep on spreading awareness and as that Zac Efron guy once said “We’re all in this together”.