Ulelli: Hi, tell me your name.
Ulelli: Ok, your name is Chris, and you are from?
Ulelli: Ok, tell me a bit about yourself.
Chris: I am 22 years of age, let’s see, everyone ask me a question like this, it’s like I don’t even know myself, because it’s a difficult question.
Ulelli: It is? Ok, what do you do?
Chris: I am an Accounts Clerk with [place of employment]. I have been working there for the past four years. I have been studying and recently finished a course that I was doing just last week. I left St. Augustine and… What else…?
Ulelli: What was it like for you growing up in Trinidad?
Chris: For me, growing up in Trinidad, it had some good times and there was some bad times but I would say most of the times it was actually great because I could actually be free in this country. I could most times be myself without anyone having to harass me because of the way I just dress and stuff. So, majority of the times, it was great.
Ulelli: So, tell me a bit about the way you dress.
Chris: The way I dress, I haven’t been dressing like this for as long as I am alive, however, I have always had the tomboyish ways, and I used to hang out with the guys and around the age of say approximately twelve or thirteen, that was the first time I actually wore my first piece of - how do I call it? - “boyish clothing” or however anyone would want to call it, and I actually felt comfortable. It was the most comfortable day of my life, rather than when, you know, tight clothes and like feminine feminine clothing and you know, the way I dress is for my comfort, it’s not really for anyone else’s comfort. It’s just for my comfort and it really makes me feel comfortable dressing like this.
Ulelli: So, basically, you dress like this because you are comfortable. And how do people react to you when they see you?
Chris: Well, their reaction is like, is that a girl or a boy? But I really don’t take on people sometimes. Sometimes there would be the ignorant ones, you know, who would be like you know, “Lesbian and this and that,” the name calling stuff. But, it’s about living life for you, in this case living life for me and taking on what people actually have to say about the way I just dress, like I said, it is for my comfort and not for anyone else’s own.
Ulelli: And how do your family feel?
Chris: My family feels, my mother, she is not 100% accepting it, however, I am her child and so she does not have any other choice. Other than that, my father, my siblings, my cousins is quite normal. The only person who kinda disagrees is my mom, but she does not tell me about it every day and all the time. But once a month, she be like, “Why you don’t dress like a girl?” and, I am like, no, this is me and this is who I am and would be like, “Whatever.”
Ulelli: And it’s fine at work too? I mean, the way you dress.
Chris: Yeah. It’s fine. Everyone is quite normal with it.
Ulelli: What do you want to tell people who do not understand much about gender expression, about the way how you dress and go out?
Chris: I would say, even though I wear “male clothing”, sometimes it does not mean that you are gay but in my case I am lesbian, but not everyone who dresses the way that I dress means that they are gay. Sometimes, people just like dressing like it because for the comfort of it, you know. Not everyone likes tight clothing, not everyone likes to wear feminine clothing all the time. Sometimes people actually like to breathe and walk free and run freely you know. And, dressing like this, I would say that I don’t see why people would want to discriminate it and disagree on it because everyone has their own lifestyle to live. And people should be accepted for who they are, not for what other people see in their eyes, because at the end of the day whether you take off my clothes I am a woman. So, the garments I wear does not say that I am a guy because if you take off my clothes I am a woman you know, so some people just need to accept it and accept people for who they are and not for what they want to see the person to be.
Ulelli: Anything else you want to add?
Chris: I don’t know.
Ulelli: Anything you want to say…?
Ulelli: Ok, thank you.