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“T&A” opens up an aspect of the trans experience that’s hard to cope with

T&A

Perzine, Kayla Rosen,kaylarosenzines.com, $6.95

The title’s double entendre juxtaposes the classic “tits and ass” against this zine’s topic, transitioning and attractiveness.

I’ll just say it — this zine is incredible. Rosen opens up an aspect of the trans experience that’s so hard to cope with. We often hear the stories of someone feeling unattractive before a medical transition, but very rarely do we hear about the honest fear of feeling ugly after medical transition. Rosen covers a lot of aspects of the transition experience of folks assigned female at birth (AFAB), discussing their thoughts around socially acceptable looks, the ways they tried to find out if they were hot, and their fears moving forward. All of these things can weigh on someone’s mind when during the transition process, but we often can’t be speak about that in order to maintain the Good TransPerson™ narrative we need to present to cis people. We keep it to ourselves and hope that the fears will disappear.

Rosen’s zine is honest and careful, it shows how scary medical transitioning can be for people. As an AFAB trans person, I relate heavily to a lot of their reflections, experiences and anxieties. I would recommend that any AFAB trans person give this zine a read, if only to know that their experiences are not singular. Rosen is a strong, smart writer and gives profound insight into their thought process. I’m honoured to have access to such an exceptional zine.

At some point Rosen mentions that they are a teacher. Knowing that some-one who takes such care to fully under-stand their emotions, and to explain them so clearly, is also an educator makes me feel very hopeful for any young trans kids they might find in their classroom.