Kylie Wu is a 25-year-old from Los Angeles who publishes hilarious comics about her experiences as a trans woman on her Tumblr, Trans Girl Next Door. She goes through the things that any girl goes through — dating, make-up problems, freaking out over being called “ma’am” instead of “miss” — but with the added factor that she was assigned male at birth. The results are laugh out loud funny, like the conversation she had with her shrink about her sexuality, in which she said, “Ugh, no sh*t Doc? I talk to you about stuff like turning my penis into a vagina and you don’t even bat an eye.”
In addition to the fact that Wu’s strips are almost all hilariously funny (seriously: I’m reading them and giggling like a crazy person in my co-working space), they’re also an awesome peek into a life that the majority of people won’t ever experience: That of a trans woman just living her life. Wu makes very trans-specific issues like “chasers” (men who are only interested in sex with a trans woman, but not more serious or public relationships) and what it’s like to grow boobs after not having them your whole life totally relatable to her majority non-trans audience.
And people are loving it. Trans Girl Next Door has almost 7,500 followers on Facebook, with each new comic getting hundreds of likes, shares, and comments. Clearly, Wu’s goofy, fun, and serious-when-it-needs-to-be comic strip is striking a chord.
I talked to Wu about what inspired her to start Trans Girl Next Door.
“There was this huge change in my life, and I just naturally gravitated towards drawing comics to have a creative outlet to express myself and process all my feelings, because that's just kinda my thing,” Wu tells Bustle. “I imagine if I was a singer, I would make songs about it, like ‘Oops, I'm Actually A Girl,’ or ‘Wake Me Up When My SRS Surgery is Done,’” Wu tells Bustle.
While I would love to see the music videos for those theoretical songs (any awesome trans singers out there want to tackle them?), I’m definitely glad that Wu’s outlet is drawing, because Trans Girl Next Door is my new favorite website that makes me feel like I’m not really wasting time when I’m wasting time on the Internet. It’s a rare talent that can produce something that’s both entertaining and informative, and Wu definitely has it.
In addition to being a freelance artist for hire, Wu also has a Patreon page going to help support her and her comic strip. For those of you unfamiliar with the site, Patreon is a site that lets people set up recurring payments to support artists and creators. Wu is looking for donations to help her free up some time so that she can focus on creating Trans Girl Next Door instead of freelancing 24/7. If you dig what she’s doing, consider donating a couple of bucks a month to help her keep it going. And in the mean time, go read all of her comic strips and laugh your head off.
Images: Courtesey of Trans Girl Next Door