Rafael/a: Coming into hormones and then later surgery, was like, I have something. I planned something for myself. I’m looking towards this thing, and because I’m doing this thing, that means I’m changing because I want to be here. [...] the fact that you’re investing in doing this thing means that you’re going to be here after that event also, like after the surgery.
And I noticed that in myself, and my sister also noticed, “You’re happy, like you’re being a normal young twenty something. You want to do things and go out.” She just saw a shift in me.
I really withdrew for about a year or so [before I transitioned]. I actually cocooned up.
Jacqui: You cocooned up and then started to emerge?
Rafael/a: Yeah, she saw that. And I think a few people around me, who were childhood friends or parents of my friends actually, were like, “oh this is the new Raf.” They were kind of noticing, and it wasn’t really about how I looked as much as “you’re just bright now or there’s something shining through. You’re landing here,” you know?