"It doesn't matter how or when you realize you're trans," Los Angeles-based artist and Up and Out comic creator Julia Kaye wrote on Twitter. "Your gender identity is valid. Your narrative is valid." Can I get a hell yeah?! Kaye accompanied the message with a cartoon illustration of her gender transition. This "is part of an autobiographical series I started months back to document my gender transition," Kaye wrote on her website.
The comics detail everything from the thoughts and feelings running through her head, like, "What if I'm not trans enough? For years I let that invalidate me," to experiences like shopping for her new wardrobe, and wearing makeup. "I went shopping today," another cartoon details. "I finally stopped feeling self-conscious about it; nobody cares!"
She said she has experienced being occasionally misgendered, but she dealt with it by "forging ahead and trying to keep pushing my comfort zone out further. I was gonna wear whatever the heck I wanted!"
"I started making the comics as a way to handle dealing with the external and internal stress that comes with going on hormonal replacement therapy," Kaye tells Bustle. "Making them became therapeutic, helping me to set aside time to reflect on my day and mental space. After making them for some months, I started posting them online in the hopes of reaching other trans folks who feel isolated and teaching cisgender people what it's like to deal with gender dysphoria."
Kaye addresses feelings of anxiety over how she thinks she should have felt about being transgender.
Pride comes from the inside out.
Happy birthday to Kaye. She deserves all the happiness in the world for fearlessly being herself.
Even when faced with self doubt, she pushes forward on the path to becoming her truest self.
Kaye embraces self acceptance, and the acceptance of her inner circle.
Adventures in makeup are always fun. And, there is no such thing as too much mascara.
By revealing her own journey, Kaye has reached other transgender people who are finding comfort and support through her art.