Trans Day Of Visibility: Jake Graf, Munroe Bergdof And Hannah Winterbourne Discuss Transitioning

'It was scary, you don't know what you're going to look like'

A group of transgender people have discussed their biggest fears and insecurities when transitioning, in a video to mark Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV).

Jake Graf, writer and director, made the motivational video featuring inspiring advocates, activists and faces from within the trans community.

Models Munroe Bergdof and Laith Ashley appear alongside prominent figures and bloggers, to explore the hidden issues that trans people can face.

(left) Hannah Winterbourne, (right) Laith Ashley
(left) Hannah Winterbourne, (right) Laith Ashley

Graf said his biggest fear when transitioning was that no one was going to date him again, while Bergdof said: "I had no idea what I was doing. It was scary, you don't know what you're going to look like - you're kind of going on hope."

She continued: "[I was thinking] Am I looking okay? Which is a very big broad thing but it genuinely just boils down to just living, to not putting too much weight on how I look."

The TDoV aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people around the globe while fighting transphobia, by spreading knowledge of the trans community.

Jake Graf

Ashley said that his religion played a major part in his transition, and he thought he couldn't come out to his family.

When asked about his insecurities, he said: "To me it's lower surgery. I've learned to do certain things, to help me feel more comfortable and not as dysphoric - but every now and then it causes its problems."

While Hannah Winterbourne, who is the highest ranking transgender officer in the British Army, shared hers: "My biggest insecurity is definitely my voice, it's definitely a low voice and as much as I try to train it - it always outs me as being trans."

The theme to this years day of awareness is' More Than Visibility' (#MoreThanVisibility).

(left) Munroe Bergdof, (right) Jake Graf
(left) Munroe Bergdof, (right) Jake Graf

This recognises that while visibility is important, direct action must be taken against transphobia around the world.

"Visibility is not enough alone to bring transgender liberation. Some people experience violence due to their visibility and some others don’t want to be visible. However, we can use visibility as a vital tool for transgender justice," the Trans Student website states.

Graf told the Huffington Post UK: "I think it's important to show that we all have our own insecurities, fears and concerns, and that we all occasionally have to work to stay positive.

"We wanted to make this video to give hope to other people struggling with their identity, gender or even sexuality, that it's okay to be different, and that it's better to embrace those differences, rather than fighting against them. Just be yourself, there is light at the end of the tunnel."