“Everybody is transitioning!”
If you spend a lot of time on YouTube, you could almost believe that quote. There seem to be thousands of vloggers on YouTube documenting their transition.
It is such a pervasive phenomenon that it has generated a pseudo-scientific sensation commonly given an authoritative-sounding name: Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. ROGD is, IMO, a baseless psychological interpretation popular among frightened parents (and some right-wing media). It posits that exposure to all those videos confuse young minds causing many to transition who otherwise would not have. But, whether ROGD is a real or BS phenomenon is the subject for another essay.
Here instead, we will celebrate transitioning youtubers worth watching. Unfortunately, most transitioning youtubers are pretty boring: lots of talking heads telling similar stories. For many of those, I admit to be (less than admirably) just skimming their channels, looking for that occasional nugget: yes, please do show us what 20 months of HRT has done to your chest.
But there are a few who are so entertaining, or so smart, or so informative that I keep up with them regularly. Here are some:
#1 MAYA HENRY: One of the very best; and one of the most popular on YouTube. Atypical for several reasons. First of all, she is a graduate of film school, so her writing, her production values, her editing, etc., are on another plane from most transitioning youtubers. Second, those of us that have watched her videos for 6 years, have watched her become a gorgeous woman. And that’s just the start. She does do some talking head videos, but often in her videos we are invited to go out with her to dinner, to see her friends, on with her on vacation. And we get to know her mother, her sister, and her boyfriend also. But most of all, she’s an open, honest person; she’s got a personality that outshines her beauty. Here are a few of the many good ones on her channel.
Bikini Try On: https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=-9vrCsQoX2k;
Niagara Falls Vacation with Her Boyfriend https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=-0Ev88oaoqw;
Straightforward video demonstrating how profoundly makeup can change how one looks https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=BRHjHw6zwd0;
Amazing “meta” video in which you are watching two videos at once, a 5-year transition timeline video made several years ago in the background, with, in the foreground, a contemporary video of Maya commenting on the older video https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=qd79ajHeub8
#2 IT’S EMILY: What a wonderfully genuine woman! This is exactly the kind of woman I fall in love with. Totally honest about how she is feeling and able to convey it precisely: Delighted when she got engaged; we feel her joy with her. Distressed because dilating isn’t going as she hoped: we get exactly how she feels. It doesn’t hurt that she’s become quite pretty. You may have to watch a lot of her videos to “get her” as I have, but here are a few of my favorites to start you off:
Although it’s all stills, this is nevertheless one of my favorite transition timeline videos: (365) 2 Year HRT Timeline! (MTF Transgender) – YouTube
Emily is amazingly genuine everywhere: spend time with her long Q&A videos: https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=iqnCYyKcEpI;
And, for example, she tells it like it is about top and bottom surgeries: https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=IqE-0Vp_nTE
#3 RINOA LEONHART: This is a quirky personal choice. I expect many of my CDH sisters will ask: why did Cassie include her? Personally, I love her channel. In short, watch how a brilliant, quirky, nerd boy (think of the characters on The Big Bang Theory) becomes a brilliant, quirky, nerd girl. T-shirts and baggy jeans. Little makeup, if any. Most of the videos have nothing to do with transition, but they’re still fascinating to watch, both because of the intrinsically interesting subject, but also because of this girl’s unpretentious way of explaining it. Here are some good videos to start with:
look at early transition days and how you can get mixed up about pronouns even yourself: (365) Personal Bits 0289: update on coworker pronoun use – YouTube
Great look at post-transitioning and just “being”: https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=-3M7qiPqJoo;
#4 AVA ROSE: Straight talking head transition vlog, but interesting for another reason: all three years of videos have been posted while Ava is still in high school. She’s an amazingly self-possessed, smart, and open young girl. She’s still in braces at first! We watch her mature as we would any teenager, but this one happens to be transitioning at the same time. Fascinating to watch, for example:
Talking head video telling about her coming out: https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=a-weoZMvhV0;
A status video made more interesting because it was being live streamed as it was being made https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=pfb4YhtW4gU
Who are your favorite transitioning youtubers?
(From Brina, Managing Editor: Cassie has again given us a glimpse of what could be and what is tasteful. That is what is expected when commenting. You may list those you like, but as before any links will be deleted. I have neither the time nor the desire to police inappropriate postings. I sincerely ask for your cooperation. Thank you!)
- The photo at the top of this article is shown with Maya and Ava’s permission.
More Articles by Cheryl Ann (Cassie) Sanders
- Thinking “Softer” about Men …and Love
- The Vicarious Woman: Part 3: Biographies, Autobiographies, and Memoirs
- The Vicarious Woman: Part 1: Crossdressing YouTubers
- The Convenient Women: A Response to a Dismissive Transsexual
- Tell Your Girlfriend, But Don’t Tell Your Wife
Latest posts by Cheryl Ann (Cassie) Sanders (see all)
- Thinking “Softer” about Men …and Love - May 30, 2021
- The Vicarious Woman: Part 3: Biographies, Autobiographies, and Memoirs - January 29, 2021
- The Vicarious Woman: Part 2: Transitioning Youtubers - December 19, 2020
- The Vicarious Woman: Part 1: Crossdressing YouTubers - November 21, 2020
- The Convenient Women: A Response to a Dismissive Transsexual - October 13, 2020