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Steph's Story:

Hawk's restrooms on campus are scary. During lunch and dinner, hundreds of students run in and out of those restrooms. As a trans man who is starting to transition, my toughest and biggest accomplishment is using the bathroom that matches my identity. Since these restrooms are closest to the LGBTQIA Resource Office, they're the most convenient. Before I started to transition, I would gather stares from the "women's" restroom. However, using the "men's" restroom has had such a positive effect. I've come to the realization that no one really cares if I'm in there. We're all in there to handle our business and that's it. However, there are still days where it may be too busy at lunch and there are too many people in there for me to feel comfortable. It's one step at a time. Eventually, I will have enough confidence and security to use the restrooms during any time of the day.

I chose to represent this part of life and my queer story in a collage. Along with the struggles of HB2, trans issues have been increasingly popular in the headlines. Every time I see another article about restrooms, house bills, or cancelled NCAA games, I feel a certain connection. It's such a difficult news topic for me to read about, especially during my time of transitioning. I can't help but put myself into each situation, into each story and headline. There's a huge shift within the trans community and I'm a part of it. I'm representing these headlines and stories in my artwork, using collage to express my cluttered feelings about being a trans man using public restrooms and what society thinks of me.