Trans Realities in Ohio, Defending Our Joy

Meet Barrie: an amazing advocate and content creator alongside their partner Laurenzo—Together they are working to provide resources for Queer youth.

What’s one piece of advice you would currently give other Transgender folks?

The encouragement that your thoughts and feelings are valid. Everyone has a unique experience, and though there’s some overlap, there is no one way to be “trans”.

Some years ago, after coming out as non-binary- I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to use the word “trans” because a lot of people assume that when you use that word it means either a trans male or female. The reality is that there is a whole spectrum of human experience within the trans umbrella- and as a non-binary person, I feel like the word definitely applies to how I feel internally. In other words, simply not identifying with the sex I was assigned at birth and not feeling exclusively male OR female.

Think back to when you first began your journey. What resource do you most wish you had access to back then? Moving forward, what do you still need?

 The resources I wish I had access to when I first realized I was trans non-binary, was just have a centralized location where I could make sense of what I was feeling. Basically I put pieces together by meeting trans people in real life and also watching YouTube videos or just googling stuff. I feel like just connecting with other non-binary people made me feel less alone. In 2020, I sent this music video I had made about my gender identity to Laurenzo (a creator I found through instagram) and they shared it on their platform. Just connecting to this other non-binary person across the country made me feel like even though there were no other non-binary people that I knew of in the California suburbs I was in, the internet had plenty of people with a shared experience. I started making my own LGBTQ content on Tik Tok as an outlet for hard conversations and expression of things I was facing in my own life. Growing an audience of younger people made me realize that through content and social media, there is so much more visibility. Anyway, flash forward to a few years later- now Laurenzo is my partner and I moved to Columbus, and joined them on this 10-episode Youtube series called “Self Care series”. It is a great resource for ANYONE in the LGBTQ community, especially trans people – because it is made by us, for people in the community. It entails various segments on self care and practices that help us to maintain our health and wellbeing.

Has there been a meaningful moment of support that has stuck with you?

 A meaningful moment of support that has stuck with me was after years of difficult conversations with my parents. I had a few consultations set up for my top surgery and it was only then that my mom really put the pieces together and BELIEVED ME. Before she didn’t really understand why my gender identity was important or what being trans even meant for me, but when she really sat down with me and asked about the body/chest dysphoria, I felt like she heard me for the first time. I also had a trans male therapist who really helped me with this process and it felt so good that my experience was being validated instead of questioned and misunderstood.

What does Pride mean to you this year? 

Pride means being able to be happy and comfortable with who I am and feeling like my authentic self.

What brings you joy?

Joy is in the little moments. Laughing over something random, being barefoot in the grass, creating videos, holding hands, fully expressing myself, home-cooked meals, making music, being around people I feel comfortable and at ease with. I have a necklace that I wear every single day that someone on Etsy made- it says “trans joy”, and I like to look at it and remember that it feels sooooo good to be your authentic self.


Over the course of June, The Defenders of Equality are bringing you stories from Trans folks across the state of Ohio about the joys and very real struggles they are experiencing, often at once. We invite you this Pride season to hold space for these realities in the Trans community, both good and bad.

As you sit with these stories, consider contributing to the continued fight for our Trans community, by joining the Defenders of Equality. Our Trans siblings deserve our support, today and everyday. 

Our very own superhero mascot, The Lavender Legend is a proud member of the Trans community! The Gay Guardian and Captain Carnation are excited to support their friend this Pride season (and beyond).

Make a move to fund the continued fight for our community members, like Eileen, by joining the Defenders of Equality. With rates as diverse as our community, we hope you will be able to find the one that works for you.