Trans Joy Interview #8 – 1st March 2023: Riley

Part One: Trans Joy

What’s your name and why is it important to you, why did you chose it? Also, your pronouns?

Riley (they/them) I dunno it just suits me, I wanted something androgynous and it started to suit me the more I tried it out

If you’re out, what was coming out like? If not, what are you most looking forward to about being out?

It gave me so much more freedom, just declaring it to myself and knowing that that simple act of public rebellion could open up so many possibilities of joy and expression and beautiful rage. To be queer is to be conscious of the control inherent in normative gender, and to separate myself boldly away from it.

Do you have a funny anecdote about being trans? What is it?

Most of my anecdotes are people getting confused at me. I’ve been heckled on the street before, late at night, but the people heckling took so long to decide if it was a boy or a girl that they were harassing that I made it out of earshot before they could form a coherent insult

What has been the best thing about transitioning or what is the best thing about being trans?

Again, I think it’s that declaration outside of normative standards. I’m an anarchist and a gender abolitionist, genderqueering and transing are inherently political, as is gender assignment at birth. The best thing about being trans is knowing of that freedom and acting on that political rage, it’s this burning mass of possibility, and with it comes community and family that agree on the same thing. The best thing about transness is the anger and the joy and the freedom and the people

You’ve time travelled into your own past and found a very sad younger version of yourself. What three things can you tell young you that there is to look forward to?

You wont have to be ashamed of your body, you’ll find better ways to deal with your confusion, you won’t be alone

Part Two: We’re not just our genitals, so here’s some non-trans joy

What would be your ideal way to spend a day?

Lifting weights, watching scary movies with the people I love, having drinks, going to a party, and relaxing in someone’s embrace

Family are the people who love us – by blood or otherwise. Tell me about someone really important to you (as anonymous as you like) and what’s great about them.

I love my friends, like, a lot. It’s hard for me to pick which one because I ping-pong around a lot but I have a few friends in particular that are always willing to listen to me ramble on and don’t judge me for being so anxious or excited about the stuff I care about, who genuinely show care and are there for me when I get a little lost. I remember sitting on the roof of an old abandoned bunker with them and talking about transition and life and who I want to be. It’s nice coming back to that.

Pets, or favourite animal?

Winnie, Betsy, Dusty and Cookie





What’s your passion? Hobby? Favourite music, book, food, your team, your job, anything, what do you really, really love?

I love love love horror media and spend most of my time either watching, playing, or writing about it. I’m also an avid gymgoer and a novice powerlifter with ambitions to compete at some point!

What have I not asked that you’d really like to talk about?

It’s really important that people know not to be afraid. Growing up trans in the UK is really difficult right now, hated by both the government and the “opposition” party and a number of high profile bastards in society. It’s important not to give up hope, but instead be motivated to stand up and fight against this tyrannical shit. If they’re grossed out or confused by you, good, that’s a power all its own. To that extent: ACAB, fuck the Tories, prison abolition NOW.


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